Kankakee High School Renovation Phase 1

Planning for Kankakee High School’s new Culinary Arts Program resulted from an extensive assessment within the school district. The design of the learning spaces occurred hand in hand with the shift of teaching and learning at the secondary level. The District has adopted a Reggio Emilia-inspired approach in a High School setting.

The Reggio embrace of experiential learning supported the High School’s desire to offer a track for students interested in a variety of vocations. The team recognized the environment plays a significant role in creating a successful Reggio-inspired program.

The Culinary Arts Studio is exciting because it offers students a professional experience. The objective was to create a culinary lab that would prepare students for food service jobs 30 years into the future.

No longer simply learning to prepare meals for home, Culinary Arts is now training students preparing to join the Hospitality/Food Service Industry.
A sliding glass wall provides flexibility, calm and quiet when closed. Open it allows students to huddle around the movable demonstration counter.
Culinary Arts Classroom: The new, innovative vocational program aligns with a local Community College Culinary Arts degree program.
Students train on commercial-grade equipment and the ample ventilation paired with a movable glass wall between the areas keeps odors in check.

Diane Morris, the high school’s foods teacher, modeled the culinary lab to align with Joliet Junior College’s cooking program. She also took some pointers from Crystal Lake South High School.

“The objective was to create a culinary lab that would prepare students for food service jobs 30 years into the future.”

John Dykstra
Daily Journal

The culinary lab was designed to support innovative experiences such as a student-catered dinner theater.

To showcase the learning to the entire school, the program is located adjacent to the cafeteria/commons, a well-traveled route in the core of the school. Windows are strategically placed to frame the activity happening inside.

Students learn to plan for and execute real-life events, such as breakfast for the school’s staff or dinner before performing arts performances. All students pass through the cafeteria/commons, and the Culinary Arts Program is prominently featured.
Culinary Arts Lab: Far beyond Home Ec, students in the program don’t just learn how to cook. They learn how to collaborate in a commercial kitchen.
Students train on commercial-grade equipment and the ample ventilation paired with a movable glass wall between the areas keeps odors in check.

Related Works

Other stunning projects for our amazing clients

New Early Learning Center
New Elementary School designed to make learning more flexible
Reimagined Learning Spaces
Making a Middle School
Putting the Cool in Culinary Arts
Fieldhouse Rises from the Rubble
Transforming an Existing High School for Today’s Learners
Top Midwest Design Firm
Long-Range Plan at Homewood-Flossmoor Community High School
Classrooms Tailored to Next Generation Science Curriculum
Expansion Yields Limitless Possibilities for Performing Arts
Top 300 Architecture Firms
Student Focused Renovations
Ample Practice and Performance Spaces Enhance Performing Arts Program
Inspiring Learning Everywhere
Addition and Remodel at Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, IL
Addition and Remodel at Crete-Monee Middle School, University Park, IL
Student Space for Peer-to-Peer Collaboration
Elementary School Architecture Designed to Create Community
Curriculum Takes Center Stage
Share Our Work