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D219 Renovations Make the List for Outstanding Designs

The spring 2024 edition of Learning By Design magazine featured multiple renovation projects initiated by Niles Township High School District 219. The library renovations at Niles North and Niles West High Schools and the addition at Niles North were named 2024 Outstanding Projects. The spaces, designed by Studio GC architecture + interiors, transformed learning environments at the schools while addressing challenges in innovative and  engaging ways.


Students sitting in library


Excerpt from Learning By Design:

"The Niles North and Niles West High School libraries underwent renovations to transform into multifunctional spaces beyond their traditional roles. Recognizing the need for inviting, calming environments as alternatives to high-energy areas, the design focused on creating cozy yet safe spaces. Inspired by a neighborhood-within-a-community concept, the libraries feature various activity nodes throughout the floor plan, catering to individual focus, small gatherings, and group study.

Central circulation desks enhance student access and visibility, promoting safety. The libraries foster a culture of lifelong learning by showcasing books and graphic novels in attractive displays, encouraging exploration. Mobile shelving allows for flexible space configuration, accommodating larger events like book fairs. The design supports diverse learning styles with study carrels, group study rooms, and informal gathering areas. Acknowledging the evolving role of libraries, the renovated spaces include a flexible DIY area, promoting hands-on activities like horticulture and button-making. This space facilitates cross-curricular collaboration, enabling teachers to reserve it for classroom activities. Overall, the revitalized libraries aim to instill curiosity, accommodate various learning modalities, and provide an appealing environment that attracts students."

The projects were published in the print and in the digital version of  Learning By Design magazine, circulated to 50,000+ educators and design professionals across the country. The Niles North + West High Schools - Library Renovations can be found on page number 95 within the spring edition