Chicago-Area Prep School Wins Project Award

By Eric Althoff

CHICAGO—John Hancock College Preparatory High School has been presented with the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association’s (HACIA) 2022 Project of the Year award, thanks largely to designer Legat Architects’ efforts to ensure diversity of its local hires as well as working to ensure greater community involvement.

According to a recent release from Legat, the 178,000-square-foot high school replaced another facility that had existed on the same site for a century prior. Legat’s partners at the jobsite included UrbanWorks, a minority woman-owned firm, as well as K.R. Miller Contractors and A.L.L. Masonry Construction Co., the latter also a minority-owned firm.

The school’s study body is largely Hispanic, and the HACIA award commended the design and construction team for hosting bilingual meetings with community leaders as well as working with the Federation of Women Contractors to construct a diverse workforce for the project.

The designers and builders faced a rather punishing deadline and a constrained urban jobsite in close proximity to Midway Airport. The team also had to work amid covid protocols and shutdowns enforced by the pandemic.

HACIA was founded over four decades ago to raise awareness of Hispanic participation in the construction and design industry.