STEM Lab & Innovation Center Renovations

McHenry SD 15’s desire to incorporate Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering (STEM) curriculum into their K-8 district drove the need for renovations at several of their facilities. The district engaged staff in discussions on what this curriculum would look like, challenging ARCON to create spaces supporting this vision. Renovations addressed library spaces at (5) elementary schools, and (2) middle schools.

The district wanted their outdated libraries to be turned into collaborative zones that sparked innovation and creativity. Innovation Centers, which are technology equipped for all devices, and STEM Labs that partner with Creative Learning Core Curriculum, are incorporated into the existing libraries. In addition to an Innovation Center and STEM Lab, the middle school libraries incorporate a Broadcast Studio and Control Room, providing a recording space for students. All spaces are furnished with flexible furniture, which allows the space to adapt to the current learning environment, as well as technology that supports the district’s 21st Century curriculum.

Riverwood Elementary School’s renovation consisted of enclosing a courtyard space with a 61’ x 28’ electrochromic glazed skylight. Not only did this help incorporate natural daylighting into the library, but it expanded the existing footprint creating additional spaces for learning. In order to reduce glare, the skylight is hooked up to the building automation system and will tint depending on sunlight levels. The glazing can even manually be tinted to reach 98% opaque.

McHenry SD 15 earned the Digital Content and Curriculum Achievement Award for the above projects, which recognizes districts that successfully use digital content and curriculum to improve instruction and student engagement.


McHenry School District 15


McHenry, IL


18,300 SF Renovation



General Contractor

Nicholas & Associates, Inc.


August 2016