Gensler & J.C. Anderson team for pro bono high school project in Chicago

Gensler and J.C. Anderson, Inc. announced the completion of a new office and classroom space on behalf of City Year at Orr Academy High School on Chicago’s West Side.

City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. City Year operates in 20 U.S. locations and with two international affiliates including Chicago. As tutors and mentors, City Year Chicago corps members provide critically needed services to some of Chicago’s most underserved youth.

City Year representatives came to Gensler for their assistance in the transformation of the organization’s offices within Orr Academy High School, which also serve as an academic and social gathering space for students and corps members. Gensler embraced the opportunity and then enlisted J.C. Anderson, Inc. to contribute their construction expertise.

The project began with Visioning Sessions hosted by Gensler during which the Orr High School students were asked to contribute their visions for the new space, particularly as they related to learning, hanging-out and celebrating. The students then broke-out into groups and prepared visual presentations to share their ideas. Gensler’s initial concept for a “College Parlor” themed space stemmed directly from the students’ posters and presentations.

The City Year transformation took place within the short time frame of one week and included a custom designed bookcase, tile carpeting, ancillary furniture (including lounge pieces, desks, chairs, benches, team tables and coffee tables) a custom 40’-0” long writable millwork mdf marker board with a student designed wall mural at one end and custom graphic film patterns for three existing storefront walls. Volunteers from Gensler, J.C. Anderson, Inc., City Year and the school were on hand to assist with the implementation of the design.

Susan Harrington led the architectural and design team on behalf of Gensler and Tom Raveret assembled the team from J.C. Anderson, Inc. Both Gensler and J.C. Anderson, Inc. provided services at no charge to City Year. +


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