Lincoln Middle School

Updated: July 2015


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all rights reserved.

BrainSpaces, Inc.

856 N. Fairfield Avenue, Suite #1

Chicago, IL  60622

Ph:  773.531.3221


Schiller Park School District 81, Schiller Park, IL

In association with STR Partners

Photo Credit: James Steinkamp Photography

Schiller Park’s Lincoln Middle School is an excellent example of facilities that were planned and designed to enhance the ability to provide students with 21st century skills.  Lincoln Middle School is a replacement school, built on the same site as the original school, now demolished.  The traditional educational environment of the old facility dictated departmental “junior high” teaching strategies in facilities which did little to inspire curiosity or achievement in its students. When asked, students wanted connections to the outdoors, spaces to hang out, opportunities to perform and display their work, better connections with their teachers, project-based activities, technology everywhere, comfortable environments, good food, and relevance in their education. Teachers wished to reach more students, have space and time for collaborative planning, use technology in meaningful ways, and enjoy where they work.  The administrators wanted a safe and secure environment, welcoming atmosphere for parental and community partnerships, elimination of bullying and vandalism, efficient, durable and maintainable facilities, and adequate supports for all students and staff.  The community wanted a school that would prepare their children for success in life, a community facility they could use and be proud of, and they wanted their tax dollars to be spent wisely.

Superintendent Dr. Roberta Taylor wrote: “You did a great job last night, the community members are so glad to be a part of the design process; through these meeting they are learning so much about education the district’s vision.  The meetings have provided the forum for developing relationships with different stakeholder groups, relationships which will benefit the whole Schiller Park community.” 

The resulting facility was able to support all of these requests.  It is a model for team teaching and exploratory learning at the middle school level.  It includes rich connections to the outdoors, even in an urban environment, through green roofs, plazas and a roof deck accessed through the media center so that students can read outside, while also recognizing the importance of sustainability.  BrainSpaces provided FF&E services, and the school includes comfortable furniture, geared to the mid-level student’s physical need to move. We also facilitated efforts to rebrand the school from the old “Lincoln Warriors” to the new ‘Lincoln Lightening” – using a student-led design competition to establish a new mascot and new school colors, more representative of today’s students. The entire community is proud of their facility and ecstatic that it was delivered under budget.  In the opening speech for the dedication of the building, the Principal compared the new building to the new mascot: “When I look around and see students exploring their ideas with the same curiosity as they explore the building, I find myself saying out loud the same thing I say when I see a bolt of lightning in the sky.  ‘Wow, did you see that?!’”


Size:  100,000 sf

Cost:  $22M

Opened in 2010

Architect: STR Partners