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How many school buildings are designed to standards that classify them as an arboretum? With 26 species of trees and 6 species of shrubs planted at grade, including a balcony garden, Lisle Elementary School celebrates learning and the surrounding landscape, combining two different school communities under one roof. The school is located in suburban Lisle, Il, known as “Arboretum Village” for its lush greenery, native trees, wetlands, and the iconic Morton Arboretum. The design intent was to create a dynamic learning environment within the context of the surrounding neighborhood and landscape.  Due to limited space in their two smaller schools, students previously alternated between the buildings every few years throughout elementary school. The primary design driver was to bring these two separate school communities together, creating a cohesive experience for students and parents. This has reduced busing routes, enhanced efficiency and reduced parent driving time. The building’s uniquely scaled spaces adapt to various teaching styles and community uses. “We invited everyone in,” said Mark Jolicoeur, managing principal, Perkins and Will. “We came in with a blank slate, and wanted to make sure everyone in the community had a voice.”  View more View full description
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