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Campus & Facilities

The two-building GEMS World Academy Chicago vertical campus, which includes over 240,000 square feet of instructional space, is a unique addition to downtown Chicago’s skyline, with unparalleled learning opportunities to match. The first building, the 80,000-square-foot Lower School, opened in Fall 2014, while the 160,000-square-foot Upper School building, currently under construction, will open its doors to students this fall. Once the Upper School facility opens, it will house grades 6 through 12 while the Lower School will house preschool through grade 5.

Inspired by Connection

GEMS students of all grades enjoy the benefits of a new, purpose-built campus designed to be innovative, progressive, and state-of-the-art. The design was inspired by the connectivity and transdiciplinary nature of the International Baccalaureate framework.

Both GEMS World Academy Chicago buildings form a vertical, urban campus in the heart of the vibrant Lakeshore East neighborhood, thus posing an interesting challenge to designers when it comes to bringing the idea of connectivity to life in the spaces. In our new Upper School campus, connectivity takes the form of a double-height library/media center, where students can see others above and below them throughout the day, visibility into the cafeteria from the double-height lobby, a view into our full-size gymnasium from other spaces in the school, and other opportunities for student and teacher interaction that signal the vitality of our learning environments. In our Lower School, connection is evident as soon as families walk through our doors and discover our ample, communal lobby space, and the connected, smart technology present in our hallways and classrooms.

Lakeshore East, Downtown Chicago

We are lucky to be uniquely positioned to so much of the richness that Chicago has to offer. Our campus provides students with a networked hub of learning that combines 21st-century innovation with an adherence to the best in traditional education practice. In its design, we carefully considered the balance between instructional time and space to create a building optimized for high-level learning and innovation, and one that provides many opportunities for students to uncover their passions through our extracurricular activities and sports. Being surrounded by 30 colleges and universities and more than 70 museums means our students are uniquely positioned to learn from all of the richness that Chicago has to offer, whether through our Field Studies program or just simply on their journeys to and from school each day.

Explore GEMS World Academy Chicago

Take a close look at the unique spaces in our Lower School and Upper School campuses by exploring below. Better yet, come for a tour and see for yourself.

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