Prussing Elementary School


Chicago, IL


Chicago Public Schools


Legat Architects


  • Structural repairs
  • Removal of existing modular buildings
  • New 14,000 square foot permeable synthetic playfield
  • 58-car capacity parking lot
  • 18,000 square foot addition with an elevator


The 1926 Prussing Elementary School in Jefferson Park is one of several prototype schools built in the 1920s all over the City of Chicago. It has undergone nine decades of structural wear and tear. This school that takes up nearly a full city block was in dire need of renovation work as well as additional space needed to ease the overcrowding of its diversified students.

The scope of work at Prussing Elementary School consisted of Structural repairs, including exterior masonry repairs and roof replacement. In addition, the existing modular buildings were removed. Which gave ample room for a new 14,000-square-foot permeable synthetic playfield, landscaping, paving and a new parking lot with a 58-car capacity and internal vegetated islands.

These site improvements have dual importance: expanding the play area for students and managing the rainwater from the whole site. Which will be temporarily diverted to underground tanks below the playfield so that it is gradually released, which should help prevent flooding of neighborhood homes.

The old cafeteria that once was the size of two classrooms, that limited the number of students who could eat together has now been converted into kindergarten classrooms. The new dining room and kitchen enable the entire school to eat meals over three lunch periods, improving staff efficiency.

The 18,000-square-foot addition expansion creates a new entrance at the rear of the building. The single-story annex also houses restrooms, a kitchen and dining area, administrative office, and an elevator, creating a new, ADA-accessible route into the school. features two standard classrooms, a computer lab, science room, art room, music room, large dining room and kitchen, two general classrooms, and offices. The Addition also incorporates a new elevator into the school.