Barrington Middle School - Prairie Campus
Community Unit School District 220
for Excellence in the Design of Educational Environments
• 1993 Society of American Registered Architects
Certificate of Appreciation
Barrington's Prairie Middle School Campus ws built in response to a growing enrollment and the need to accommodate alternative organizational and teaching strategies. The inherent flexibility of the building was a priority after the difficulties faced by the District in attempting to convert "open-plan" schools to a more traditional classroom environment.
Prairie Campus occupies 14 acres within an 80-acre park, which faces a nature preserve and includes protected wildlife areas. The design and construction of the school included a study of the entire ecosystem and a cooperative planning effort with local conservation groups to restore degraded wetlands areas adjacent to the school.
A three-wing plan creates three small communities or "houses". Each house then becomes a school within a school, containing team and computer space, a group project area, a special education room, staff planning areas, and support space.