SOURCE: Wight & Company

September 11, 2008 09:48 ET

Elmhurst Residents Can Tour Newly Renovated and Expanded Hawthorne Elementary School at Public Dedication Sunday

Wight & Company's Innovative Design for $12 Million Building Makeover Balances Historic Architecture, Sustainable Features and Modern Amenities

DARIEN, IL--(Marketwire - September 11, 2008) - Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 and Wight & Company, a leading K-12 design firm, will join local officials from Elmhurst this Sunday, September 14, 2008, in welcoming the public to tour the newly renovated and expanded Hawthorne Elementary School. A special dedication to celebrate the completion of the school's $16 million makeover will begin at 1 p.m. at 145 Arthur Avenue in Elmhurst, Ill.

The building project included a two-story, 12-classroom addition (20,000 square feet) and another 58,000 square feet of renovations to the 90-year old Hawthorne grade school. Its purpose was not only to provide more space for growing enrollment but also to modernize the teaching environment.

"The completion of the Hawthorne renovation marks the end of a two-year construction project, that was made possible through the generous support of our community," said Superintendent Dr. Lynn Krizic. "The beneficiaries of this project are not only the many groups who use this facility, but the teachers and students who come to Hawthorne everyday to learn."

A notable design feature of the project was the preservation of the original historic façade within the two-story atrium between the existing building and the new addition. The changes to the building also incorporated sustainable design strategies such as permeable parking lot pavers, water-saving plumbing fixtures, and high efficiency lighting and mechanical systems.

Other project highlights included:

--  Remodeling of existing classrooms with new ventilation systems, power
    and lighting systems, technology systems, finishes, and casework
--  Making improvements to the building envelope, including exterior
    window replacement and masonry restoration and tuck pointing
--  Replacing all major mechanical systems with high efficiency energy
    saving systems controlled by building automation
--  Remodeling art and music classrooms
--  Providing abundant natural light through the use of window transoms
    and a large central skylight

"Our challenge was to create a modern facility while maintaining the historical integrity and character of the oldest grade school in the District," said Kevin Havens, Senior. Vice President and Director of Design, of Wight & Company. "We worked closely with the District to make sure our vision for this project would be consistent with the school's values of "Honoring our past… Celebrating our present… Building for our future."

About Elmhurst Community School District 205

Community Unit School District 205 currently services more than 7,800 students who reside primarily in the city of Elmhurst and small portions of Oak Brook, Bensenville, and Addison. Approximately 93 percent of students live in the city of Elmhurst with the remainder living outside of the city, but within the district boundaries. (District boundaries are NOT contiguous with city boundaries.) At present, District 205 maintains thirteen schools (eight elementary schools, three middle schools, York Community High School, and an early childhood center).For more information, please visit

About Wight & Company

Wight & Company is a leader in integrated solutions for the built environment. Its professional staff of more than 185 specialists has been providing clients with architecture and engineering services since 1939, and design-build and construction management services for more than a decade. As the architect for one of the first LEED certified buildings in the country, the first LEED Certified school in Illinois and one of a handful of LEED Platinum buildings in the nation, Wight is committed to green design principles. It maintains offices in downtown Chicago, Darien, Ill, and South Bend, Ind. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Peter Duckler
    Phone: 312.423.4930