As part of an effort to expand its reach, Champaign Unit 4 School District decided to relocate Carrie Busey Elementary School to the growing residential community of Savoy. This new location, adjacent to Savoy’s largest public park, allowed the school to expand its functions and serve as a community center by opening its assembly spaces, athletic facilities, and library resources to local residents. As home to the district’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing programs, the building is infused with design elements that address the unique needs of hearing-impaired students, in addition to those with the ability to hear.
The $14 million Leed Gold Certified project blends concrete, steel & masonry construction. The innovative project was designed by the architectural firm Cannon Design, and features geothermal heating & cooling, north-facing clerestories and shading of south-facing windows to improve daylighting and reduce the building’s electrical demands. Bioswales and native prairie vegetation capture and retain rainwater and runoff, which helps control pollution and reduce erosion of nearby wetlands and farms. These and other sustainable efforts assisted in achieving the project’s LEED Gold certification. The Project was also received a 2012 Award of Distinction by the Illinois Association of School Boards.