Project Info

Burbank, IL

54,000 GSF new construction addition
23,000 NSF Renovation

AOR: CannonDesign
EOR: CannonDesign
Civil/Landscape: Eriksson Engineering
Foodservice: S20
Acoustical: SM&W

Project Responsibilities

Managed all phases from Concept Design through Contract Administration

Developed program and site layout strategy for multi-phase addition / renovation 

Delivered comprehensive FF&E for project with 25% lower budget than typical 

Identified key opportunities to leverage existing spaces for new programs

Liberty Addition

A Middle school with big ambitions

The Brief

This middle school addition added a suite of new science labs, classrooms but at its heart is the multipurpose space with gathering stair and the project boasts a range of collaboration spaces strategically located throughout the school. Renovations expanded course offerings with a new fitness / dance studio, gym, family consumer science lab, maker space and digital arts studio.


The school offers a range of spaces for groups, individuals and even multiple classes to work in a more relaxed setting


Decisions were made with long-term objectives and a look beyond the 10-year education horizon, from design to furniture.

Fostering Identity

Through graphics and bold color choices the school creates a unique identity in the district while respecting the seven district schools that students come from

the great outdoors

The site carried opportunity to offer a courtyard experience, outdoor classrooms, a fitness course and a new soccer field  and regraded softball field

trying to build their ideal middle school

One of the most important parts of any project is engaging with a project’s stakeholders to shape the direction of the design. 

Through over 50 workshops and meetings the needs of the students, teachers and administrators were collected and formed into a cohesive vision for Liberty

increasing utilization is the key

Collaboration spaces were never in the program, but through analysis of the existing utilization, we were able to increase usage of classrooms by one period.  This small change created opportunities to create specialty elective classrooms and flexible spaces for students.

Site layout considerations

Two main partis were explored, including basic energy modeling. The data confirmed our assumptions that the scheme wrapping the existing building would be more efficient. 


The addition wrapped around the existing school and created a deep zone without access to the exterior windows. We used this opportunity to carve out a large volume of space and bring natural light in through a clerestory. The new multi-purpose space functions as circulation, pre-function space for sports, drama and other events, serves as breakout space for the classrooms in the addition and provides lunch space for the additional students joining Liberty.