Read Dunning School | Taft Freshman Academy


The Taft Freshman Academy is a new 135,000 sf school development comprised of a three-story academic wing, and a one-story athletic wing connected by a high ceiling, one-story link, which also serves as the main entry to the school. The school program includes standard classrooms, science and specialty classrooms, computer labs, administrative and support areas, a gymnasium with stage, kitchen, dining room, music suite, and multi-use athletic field.

In addition to the freshman academy, Cotter also provided project management services for additional spin-off. Those included the Read Dunning Salt Dome, a private driveway at Oak Park, a proposed walkway, a running track, coordination with the Read Dunning Salt Dome, and all associated projects.
Cotter provided design and construction program management for the Academy, and all projects associated.

The project is projected to receive LEED Gold certification.

Chicago, Illinois



Square footage


Project completion

Cotter Consulting has been a partner with both the Public Building Commission and Chicago Public Schools for many years and this was my favorite project while serving on the PBC program. The Taft Freshman Academy project was my first experience serving as both Design and Construction Manager. The knowledge I had of previous decisions and discussions during the design phase carried forward into the construction phase. I felt I could serve the project team as much more of a resource than in instances where I managed the construction alone. There really is no equal to early engagement on a project.

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