River Trails School District 26: Prairie Trails Early Learning Center

Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) and FGMA worked to renovate an existing 1960’s era building into Prairie Trails Early Learning Center (ELC) based on an extensive life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) process.  The  project, which became the first “net-zero energy performance” building in its community, included a $2M grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Foundation based on the efficiency of systems incorporated into the facility’s design.

The civil engineering components EEA designed revolved around stormwater infiltration and mitigation. The existing asphalt parking lot and drives were replaced with permeable brick pavers, which are backed by the provider with a 45-year guarantee. To help reduce cost and refuse generated from the site work, EEA reused existing stormwater infrastructure. Sustainability efforts continued with an eye on environmental impacts. As the site stormwater discharges to an adjacent creek, a new paver system was installed to reduce potentially contaminated runoff from entering the creek. Additionally, all stormwater on site was routed through a naturalized wetland-style detention basin that will serve the educational needs of the students in the future.

The ELC has space for 10 kindergarten and four pre-k classrooms, space for music and art, and a “natural” playground, allowing teachers to incorporate the outdoors into their curriculum. This building is a continuation of River Trails School District 26’s leadership and vision of creating environmentally-friendly learning environments.

Scope of work icon Scope of work Civil Engineering & Stormwater Management
Owner icon Owner River Trails School District 26
Architect icon Architect FGMA
Construction Manager icon Construction Manager Nicholas & Associates, Inc.