Barack Obama School of STEM
  • Sept. 8, 2016
  • Architect:Planera Architects
  • General Contractor: Tower Contracting.
  • CSI code 13 43 13

The president may be on his way out but a new greenhouse is underway at the Barack Obama School of Leadership in  Chicago Heights IL.  Crystal Structures was awarded the classroom greenhouse project in August.

As part of School District 163, both the President and First Lady Michelle Obama have schools bearing their names.  The district covers the cities of Park Forest and Chicago Heights.  The Barack Obama School of Leadership is an educational facility that focuses on creating problem solvers, innovators, inventors, logical thinkers and self-reliant learners according to the mission statement.  The new architectural grade classroom greenhouse will fit nicely into the STEM curriculum which places emphasis on science as one of four core areas of study.

New greenhouse for STEM studies

With the new greenhouse students will learn about plant development, naturally, but a greenhouse is also effective for teaching about the earth’s atmosphere, heat and light waves and so much more. Plus, a greenhouse is a great way to add much needed sunlight to a student’s routine – which has been proven to improve focus, concentration and even student behavior.

The greenhouse itself will be 14′ x 43′ and will be partially attached to the school for easy access by students and staff.  It features built in accessory tracks, an exclusive feature of Crystal Structures products, which allows plants and lights to be hung without additional hardware being installed.  And, the greenhouse is structurally sound, it meets the same building codes as the school itself.  Meaning the students will be safe within the greenhouse because the glass must have the same level of safety as classroom windows and door glass.  As opposed to a classical backyard greenhouse, which is meant primarily for the plants, the classroom greenhouse must be able to withstand heavier loads of snow and wind.


Project Complete

The Barack Obama school renovations are complete! The Chicago Heights school is scheduled to welcome students back in the fall of 2017

More from Crystal Structures

Reviving the Past: A Guide to Renovating Historical Skylights

Reviving the Past: A Guide to Renovating Historical Skylights

Careful planning and execution are crucial to successfully replacing a historic skylight.The task of restoring, replacing, or renovating a historic skylight can be a daunting challenge. From the differences in glass technology to the changes in building codes, there...

Designing with Glass: 5 Architectural Considerations

Designing with Glass: 5 Architectural Considerations

Beyond appearance and energy efficiency, it is important to ensure that the design of the glass and the structure meet building codes.Are you designing your next project to include overhead glazing? Skylights, canopies, glass atriums, and conservatories are just a few...