Hill Elementary School
Project of Distinction 2017 Education Design Showcase
Facility Use: Elementary School
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Whole Building/Campus Design
Location: Aurora, IL
District/Inst.: West Aurora School District 129
Chief Administrator: Dr. Jeff Craig
Completion Date: August 2014
Gross Area:. 72,296 sq. ft
Area Per Student: 96 sq. ft.
Site Size: 3.97 acres
Current Enrollment: 648 students
Capacity: 750 students
Cost per Student: $19,187.56
Cost per Sq. Ft.: $199
Total Cost: $14,390,667
One of the oldest operating buildings in the State of Illinois, the 129-year-old Nancy Hill Elementary School in Aurora had long served students and the community. As part of a successful referendum, the community and district supported a vision for a new Hill Elementary School that would educate the next generation of students. The new Hill is located on the same site as the previous school building, and was designed and constructed in a way to maintain the full-time occupancy of the existing building during the school year.
As a neighborhood school with a long history and rich nostalgia, the design of the new building supports modern-day student learning while respecting the old building’s historical character. Select components from the existing building were salvaged, restored, and reinstalled as accents in the new building, including WPA tile and wood murals, original 1888 millwork closets, doors, casings, and the original Nancy L. Hill School limestone plaque. The school features flexible learning environments, including project-based collaborative rooms and a Learning Commons that supports and provides space for STEAM and active learning modules. It also features a full geothermal heating and cooling system, reducing energy costs and improving building efficiencies and indoor air quality.
The learning walls are a nice touch. They managed to meet the challenge of building on an occupied site. Saving and including pieces of historic building is a nice feature.
PATRICK CALLAHAN, AIA, LEED-AP