ARCON was responsible for the design, planning, development and construction management of the Southland Preparatory Charter High School, which had an expedited construction schedule of only four and a half months. The 85,000-square-foot building has 28 classrooms, three computer labs, two science labs, a dance studio and an orchestra room. ARCON based the school’s design on Professional Learning Communities (PLC) principles that allow for more focused interaction between the teachers and the students. In the design of the floor plan for Southland Prep, special attention was paid to creating a variety of meeting areas. Hallways are wider than normal with undulating walls, creating comfortable areas with seating to encourage teamwork and interaction among students. Meeting rooms for teachers and administrators are scattered throughout the building for a variety of collaborative uses.
Southland Prep marks the first free public charter school in suburban Chicago. Dr. Blondean Y. Davis, Superintendent of Matteson School District 162, was instrumental in conceptualizing the unique school, which places an emphasis on innovation, community involvement, collaboration and high academic standards for all students.