Western Trails Elementary School Innovation Center

A district-wide initiative to update every school’s library (now called Innovation Centers) into bright, engaging, and collaborative learning environments for students, staff, and community members drove the renovations at this suburban elementary school. The outdated, underutilized space did not support the district’s forward-thinking curriculum, so we were challenged to push the envelope and create an environment that captured the district’s goals.

The Innovation Center is zoned into five unique spaces: a collaboration lounge, critical thinking lounge, presentation area, large group seating area, and think tank.

The Think Tank, outfitted with a movable partition, and a retractable projector screen, allows flexibility in a space that supports digital production. The Presentation Area has both a retractable projector and green screen to allow flexibility for digital production, art performances, and guest visitors, such as authors. The Collaboration Lounge provides enough seating for an entire class period while offering a variety of seating postures to foster student-choice. The Critical Thinking Lounge, outfitted with tiered seating, provides a secondary classroom space so that multiple groups can utilize the library concurrently. This area is also used for professional development after hours. In addition to the five main zones in the library, alternate student centered spaces were provided such as nooks, nestled in between bookshelves, to offer a quiet and cozy zone for students to read. The main focus and drive for the Innovation Center was to create an exciting and nurturing environment for students to learn, collaborate, and grow in a myriad of ways.


Carol Stream CCSD 93

Building Area

6,800 SF Renovation




300 Students

General Contractor

F.H. Paschen

Completion Date

September 2021