McHenry Community High School awaits first day of school in updated upper campus

  • McHenry Community High School Upper Campus

    McHenry Community High School Upper Campus Courtesy of Wold Architects and Engineers

Updated 8/13/2021 11:26 PM

Wold Architects and Engineers, a national leader in educational architecture, is pleased to announce the opening of its latest design of the high school transformation at the McHenry Community High School Upper Campus, in McHenry, Illinois.

For students returning on Aug. 16, the school's additions and renovations provide innovative design elements that modernize their learning experience. Finalizing construction through Lamp Inc., McHenry Community High School Upper Campus held its dedication ceremony on Aug. 5 for the Center for Science, Technology and Engineering .


Wold assisted McHenry HSD 156 in transforming the district's high school campus serving over 1,800 students. In response to consolidating 10th- to 12th-graders at the upper campus and developing a ninth-grade center at the east campus, the district prioritized the needs of both learning communities to establish specific expansion and renovation criteria aligned with the evolving curriculum.

"As a firm, we were able to assist in going beyond the traditional models of a learning environment to approach the diverse needs of each and every student," said Dan Kritta, partner at Wold Architects and Engineers. "We are grateful for the collaborative opportunity we've had with McHenry HSD 156, Lamp Incorporated and the entire community to create spaces that encourage exploration of unique learning opportunities, and align with the curricular initiatives of the district."

The new addition is set to enhance the educational synergy between science, math and industry technologies, leading to a wide range of potential career pathways. Spaces include specialized amenities yet remain adaptable to programmatic changes. The learning environments accommodate a business incubator, journalism, advanced engineering, construction trades, advanced manufacturing, robotics, advanced graphics, biomedical sciences, chemistry and mathematics.

As a part of the design process, the school district and Wold collaborated extensively with local business partners to create a community-driven legacy that emphasizes local opportunities. The school's state-of-the-art career and technology labs incorporate settings for active collaboration with students and local businesses. This new center will be a beacon of advanced opportunities for the community's students for years to come.

A multi-purpose space resides on the upper floor with the ability to be converted to additional classrooms in response to enrollment growth. Opportunities for diverse learning modes are blended throughout the expansion with a critical design emphasis on daylight and connectivity. Placement of the addition prompted the relocation of an expanded secure entrance, reconfigured parking and drives, and a rebranded identity to the entire campus. Renovations of the existing school include a resource center, upgraded art labs and choir room, a career center and improvement to circulation with passive study zones.

About Wold Architects and Engineers: Wold Architects and Engineers is a full-service planning, architecture and engineering firm with offices in Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado and Tennessee. As a dynamic, growth-oriented company, Wold is committed to delivering exceptional results for the communities it serves. Wold ranks 7th nationally in the K-12 Education Sector by the 2020 Building Design + Construction Giants 400 Report for A/E firms.

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