LFA’s Redesigned Academic Spaces: Rants and Raves.

LFA recently completed a academic space initiative, a multi-phased project a multi-phase project that created a new Science Center, transformed existing academic spaces, and “revolutionized the way students access and use technology”.   Now that the project is complete, let’s take a look at feedback from various stakeholders to see what they think.

Pictures of the redesign are posted here:



Tech in the classroom:

Apple TV helpful to show presentations but not in all the classrooms;

integrates well with student iPads – but not all classrooms are equipped with Apple TV.


Not as many sitting options (soft seating areas too low);

Node chairs – feels more like 12 individuals than 1 whole group of 12

– one size doesn’t fit all

— Lots of body types (small female swimmers to large male football players)  (Thomas, 2014)


chrome/glass/node chairs/white walls – makes it look sterile, increasingly impersonal

-Lacks spirit and ambiance

+ more cohesive look, more uniform

Media Commons:

underutilized expensive PCs


more windows, lights, brighter


wider hallways, more space to hand out, collaborate


+ feels more secure, less interruptions

-More distractions, awkward


Media Commons: 

–          high tech future (as technology advances, so to will the way students learn)

–          need more than quiet spaces – need interactive spaces

–          it’s more than a computer lab – it’s a blended learning, collaborative space

Science Center:

Promote environmentally sustainable practices by planting native, drought resistant plants outside Science Center (Halverson, 2013).

Community partnership to plant indigenous plants


Hot spots on the wall when overhead projector is too far back

Idea paint smears; Fuze works better for less cost


Continue traditions of the school and be at the forefront of improving the teaching system . (Thomas, 2014)

Former headmaster John Wayne Richards wanted a learning environment “where classrooms may be free from the formal ranks of desks fastened to the floor and made more appealing with chairs and tables.”  (Time, 1930)

Pulls students into class.

Positive survey results from the students.  (Schwartz, 2013).


Time Magazine (1930).  Education:  Big Dick’s Plans, retrieved from http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,882032,00.html

Shapiro, Y. (2013).  Caxy Rant:  The New LFA Look.  Retrieved from https://www.lfanet.org/ftpimages/150/download/download_998930.pdf

Spectator Editorial (2013).  Apple TV is a useful classroom tool.  Retrieved from https://www.lfanet.org/ftpimages/150/download/download_998930.pdf

Thomas, J. (2014).  Interview with CFO Andrew Kerr about the new academic spaces at LFA.   Lake Forest Academy, September 18, 2014.

Lake Forest Academy: Focus on Academy Fund (2014).   Be a Part of Something Big Campaign Update.  Retrieved from http://issuu.com/lfa_communications/docs/updatefeb14_r6

Lake Forest Academy:  Academic Space Initiative.  (ca. 2012).  Retrieved from http://www.lfanet.org/podium/default.aspx?t=134259

LFA Faces Problems with Apple TV (2014).  Retrieved from https://www.lfanet.org/ftpimages/150/download/download_998930.pdf

Chopra, R. (2013).  New Media Commons Brings Future of Learning to LFA:  Retrieved from http://issuu.com/lfa_communications/docs/spectatoriss1.1314

Corbin Construction Divides Students.  Retrieved from


Phillips, M.  (2014).  Mission accomplished:  renovation of Corbin and Korhumel cap Lake Forest Academy’s redesign.  Retrieved from https://issuu.com/lfa_communications/docs/september_2014/1?e=9455650/9535474

Halverson, A. (2013).  Plants Indigenous to Illinois placed outside of Science Center.  Retrieved from https://www.lfanet.org/ftpimages/150/download/download_998930.pdf

Schwartz, P. (2013).  Why Mobile Technology.  Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/zf4heqc5ms4hj9u/NAIS%202013%20LFA%20IPad%20Speed%20Session%20Slides.pdf

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