A rendering of the new Sunset Ridge School now under construction in Northfield Ill Wight & Company

A rendering of the new Sunset Ridge School, now under construction in Northfield, Ill.

Elementary school under construction in Northfield, Ill.

Sunset Ridge school will house grades 4 to 8 and replace an existing facility

Sunset Ridge School District 29 in Northfield, Ill., has broken ground on new school for upper elementary students.

The new Sunset Ridge School will be a 70,000-square-foot facility designed to accommodate about 300 children in grades 4 through 8. When it opens next year, it will replace the existing school building.

The centerpiece of the design is a “village square” with space for performance and dining. The village square will be surrounded by distinct “academic neighborhoods” that are organized by grade level, physical education and music areas.

Other design elements: A library within the academic wing that includes a learning center and a “maker’s space” where students can build, explore and create; science and language laboratories; daylighting throughout the interior spaces; and breakout rooms for individualized learning.

“The educational benefits to our students are outstanding and range from a much improved and larger gym facility, a dedicated theater space and a variety of 21st-century-focused educational spaces," says Superintendent. Edward Stange. "This new building will be an exceptional community asset for years to come.”

The Sunset Ridge school is one of two campuses in the tiny elementary district, which is about 20 miles north of Chicago.

The project will be built with environmentally friendly features to achieve LEED certification, though the level has yet to be determined.

The architect is Wight & Company, and the builder is Pepper Construction.

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