CHICAGO, IL – Gensler and J.C. Anderson, Inc. are pleased to announce the completion of a new office and classroom space on behalf of City Year at Orr Academy High School on Chicago’s West Side.

City Year is an education focused, nonprofit organization that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service to keep students in school and on track to graduation. City Year operates in 20 U.S. locations and with two international affiliates including Chicago. As tutors and mentors, City Year Chicago corps members provide critically needed services to some of Chicago’s most underserved youth.

City Year representatives came to Gensler for their assistance in the transformation of the organization’s offices within Orr Academy High School, which also serve as an academic and social gathering space for students and corps members. Gensler embraced the opportunity and then enlisted J.C. Anderson, Inc. to contribute their construction expertise.

The project began with Visioning Sessions hosted by Gensler during which the Orr High School students were asked to contribute their visions for the new space, particularly as they related to learning, hanging-out and celebrating. The students then broke-out into groups and prepared visual presentations to share their ideas. Gensler’s initial concept for a “College Parlor” themed space stemmed directly from the students’ posters and presentations.

The City Year transformation took place within the short time frame of one week and included a custom designed bookcase, tile carpeting, ancillary furniture (including lounge pieces, desks, chairs, benches, team tables and coffee tables) a custom 40’-0” long writable millwork mdf marker board with a student designed wall mural at one end and custom graphic film patterns for three existing storefront walls. Volunteers from Gensler, J.C. Anderson, Inc., City Year and the school were on hand to assist with the implementation of the design.

“We were honored to have been given the opportunity to participate on this project and for such a deserving organization,” said Tom Raveret, Senior Project Manager that led the team from J.C. Anderson, Inc. “We were able to construct a lot of the design elements within our shop which were then implemented into the space by the team of volunteers. It was a fast-paced project and the end result speaks directly to the dedication and efforts of the entire team.”

The new space has already been put to good use by the students who are thrilled with the redesign. “I like the paint and boxes (storage) in the room. I really like the colors too,” commented a Freshman student at Orr High School. “I think I’ll have a lot of fun in here.”

Susan Harrington led the architectural and design team on behalf of Gensler and Tom Raveret assembled the team from J.C. Anderson, Inc. Both Gensler and J.C. Anderson, Inc. provided services at no charge to City Year.

About Gensler
Gensler is a global design, planning, and strategic consulting firm networked across 43 locations on five continents. Consistently ranked by U.S. and international industry surveys as the design firm, Gensler leverages its deep resources and diverse expertise to develop design solutions for industries across the globe. For more information, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, or “like” us on Facebook.

Gensler is a multiple winner of the Business Week/Architectural Record Awards, the U.S. benchmark for business design innovation. The American Institute of Architects has named us Firm of the Year, its highest award to a collaborative practice. The award recognized Gensler as “a model of a 21st century design firm.” Engineering News-Record and World Architecture both rank us as the world’s top architecture firm, and we are ranked among the top five firms in the world in the majority of our specialized practice areas. For its longstanding commitment to the advancement of sustainable design, Gensler received the inaugural Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2005.

The Gensler Chicago office opened in 1997, and since then we’ve devoted our passion, curiosity, and design skills to creating spaces that the people of Chicago are proud to call their own. Our Gensler Chicago office has made its mark with our commitment to the community and by building our local practice with our knowledge from around the globe.

About J.C. Anderson, Inc.
J.C. Anderson, Inc. established in 1879 with offices in Chicago and Elmhurst, Illinois, is one of the area’s oldest and largest interior general contractors. The firm’s interior construction projects range from multi-million dollar contracts to building maintenance projects for building owners; developers; private and public corporations; property management firms; educational institutions; industrial and healthcare facilities. J.C. Anderson, Inc. maintains an average work force of 150 employees including a professional staff of degreed construction specialists and project managers, and a field team of union carpenters, tapers and laborers.