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UNO Veterans Memorial School Complex

UrbanWorks Ltd.

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4248 W. 47th St.



United Neighborhood Organization


  • General Contractor: FH Paschen/Denco Joint Venture

Project Status


Year Completed



180,000 sq. feet

Certifications and Designations


green roof

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Project Description

UNO’s Veterans Memorial Charter School Campus is an 180,000 square foot learning facility transformed from an abandoned warehouse. This adaptive reuse structure will serve more than 1,800 K-12 grade students by fall 2011 and lauds itself for being the culmination of grassroots leadership and community activism within Chicago’s school reform movement to provide cutting-edge education and building design within the local southwest Latino Community. This competition-winning design stacks two elementary schools and a high school on separate floors. Dramatically glazed building volumes create sunlit communal spaces that breathe new life into an existing brick and concrete industrial structure. Communal spaces are multi-functional, providing areas for large civic celebrations such as Naturalization Ceremonies and smaller neighborhood events including adult education for the local community. Extensive green elements transform spaces that promote good health through sustainable technologies. Strategically located glass elements provide natural lighting throughout the facility. A 90-panel solar thermal photovoltaic system supplies hot water for the campus. An extensive green roof provides pleasant outdoor spaces for education of students and faculty. The school is not only achieving LEED Gold certification, but also writing a new chapter for education and the environment.
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