Lake Zurich High celebrates opening of Studio C
Lake Zurich Unit District 95 celebrated the opening of a new space designed for how officials say students need to learn nowadays.
What had been a drab, underused small auditorium at Lake Zurich High School has been transformed into Studio C -- a name reflecting how the space was mostly designed for students to collaborate on academic projects before and after school.
Principal Kent Nightlinger was among those who were impressed during Thursday night's ceremonial grand opening. Students began using the space early this week.
"As we move forward and as education has evolved over the years, we're really moving toward the 21st-century learning skills and, really, critical thinking and being able to have a space where they cane come and work together in teams," Nightlinger said.
District 95 officials said Studio C represents a shift to a learning model that values student collaboration. Board President Doug Goldberg said he hopes similar spaces are built at other schools.
Studio C has a modern coffeehouse feel, minus the java and baristas. The room features natural materials, a bar-style area with individual seating, movable couches, in-wall television screens, whiteboards and various room textures.
Unlike a traditional library setting, students can speak freely to each other while they work. Sixteen or so students provided opinions to architects and administrators early this year on what they wanted in Studio C.
Senior Danielle Fewkes was part of the team that helped to provide ideas. She said the project turned out better than she had anticipated.
"When we first started working, we knew that we had kind of a limited space," Fewkes said. "We didn't really have that much to work with. And the way that it's been utilized, the fact that there are the spaces where you can have a little bit more private learning and more collaborative learning, I think that's really awesome."
Another senior, Michael Bens, said he's been satisfied on his first two visits to Studio C. He also participated in the planning of the new space.
"You can just come in here and work on your stuff, listen to music, talk to your friends," Bens said. "It's more relaxed, more of a place you want to be instead of trying to bust out your homework in the library where you're supposed to be dead silent and don't have a lot of time to relax and communicate with others."
Northwest Contractors of Hampshire submitted the lowest of six bids to do the Studio C work for an $873,000 base price -- above the $600,000 that had been expected. Work occurred over the summer.