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Local News

Joliet Central student center named finalist for Chicago award

The Joliet Central orchestra performs during the grand opening of the new Joliet Central High School student center Jan. 27, 2016, in Joliet.
The Joliet Central orchestra performs during the grand opening of the new Joliet Central High School student center Jan. 27, 2016, in Joliet.

JOLIET – The Joliet Central High School student center is a finalist for an award that recognizes innovative Chicago-area buildings, according to a district news release. 

The new addition to the historic Joliet Central High School building is one of four finalists in the New Construction Suburbs category for the 2017 Chicago Building Congress Merit Awards

Joliet Township High School District 204 is proud of the student center, said Karla Guseman, assistant superintendent of educational services. 

“We are excited the Chicago Building Congress has recognized this outstanding addition to our historic Joliet Central campus as well,” Guseman said. 

In the CBC Merit Awards, a panel of 40 CBC members will judge 33 projects in nine categories over the course of multiple sessions. The awards gala will take place May 23 in Chicago. 

The judges will evaluate projects such as the Central student center on the basis of function, design, quality of construction, impact of the project on the community and safety record. 

Ilandus Hampton, assistant superintendent of business services, will co-present with Gilbane Building Co., which built the center, for a CBC judges panel April 6, according to the news release. 

The 43,164-square-foot student center opened January 2016 and was built to accommodate up to 600 students in its cafeteria. The center also contains a student-run office for Abri Credit Union, a bookstore, a technology desk and presentation rooms. 

Gilbane Building Co. built the student center and Wight and Co. designed it. 

Kevin Havens, Wight and Co. executive vice president and director of design, stated in an email that the company is thrilled the student center has been selected for consideration by CBC.

“The new student center is viewed as a beacon for the entire community – it’s a gateway to its past, present and future. It was an honor for us to work with the staff, teachers and surrounding community of this landmark school, as well as our construction partner, Gilbane, on this project,” Havens stated.

The student center was built to feature some of the same Collegiate Gothic architecture as the Central school building, which is more than 100 years old and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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