High Schools

Urban Model High School
LEED Platinum

The Goode STEM Academy embodies the continued commitment of CPS and the City of Chicago to providing the most modern school facilities and fullest opportunities for students. As part of the City’s Modern Schools Across Chicago Initiative, the Goode school begins with the Urban Model High School prototype design, which emphasizes flexibility, adaptability, and community accessibility—and then lets imagination take flight by organizing the building into three areas: Mind (academic classrooms); Body (physical education); and Spirit (Music, Art, and Library). The school reflects a truly holistic approach to education.

To nurture minds and critical thinking, fully equipped classrooms, STEM Labs, science labs and computer classrooms occupy the three-story, east-west spine of the building. The largely identical second and third floors allow for the flexibility of subdivision into two separate high schools if needed. Each floor is self-contained, with classrooms, labs, lockers, faculty offices, and a student commons area connected to the multi-story atrium.

To develop the body, a competition gymnasium/auditorium, natatorium, dance studio and fitness rooms occupy the building’s north side and open to outdoor sports fields, which include a synthetic turf football field and competition running track.

To foster the creative spirit, music rooms, art rooms, and a library/media resource center are positioned to the south, enhanced by an outdoor reading garden.

Many of the school’s features grew from a commitment to the community, including the community garden—which is fed by an STR-designed sculptural cistern—outdoor dining area, walking and bicycle paths, and natural landscaping.

Building materials have been chosen for their rich character. A thickened brick wall creates visual unity throughout the school by snaking continuously from exterior to interior to exterior again. The wall is patterned with “randomly” placed, roughly textured accent brick. This random-rectangular “pattern theme” is repeated with variation in windows and in terrazzo floors throughout the building. For this innovative use of brick, the Academy received a Brick in Architect Gold Award.

Both the building and the site educate users about sustainable design and encourage its use. Energy-saving features include geothermal heat pumps and solar-heated pool water, while environmental care and conservation are fostered through rainwater harvesting, community gardens, indigenous plantings, green roofs, a bird sanctuary, and recycling containers.

The 212,000-square-foot Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy is designed for 1,200 students. LEED Platinum certification attests to its many innovative, environmentally sustainable features.

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