Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy

Chicago, Illinois


  • McShane Construction Company

    Project Size

  • 82,600 SF


Instituto del Progreso Latino selected Ghafari as the architect of record to transform an existing three-story warehouse into an inspiring charter school for 600 students in grades 9 through 12. We shared the client’s vision: a design that represented high-quality education, career potential, and academic achievement. Instituto’s criteria also included LEED Silver certification.


The project involved the renovation of an existing three-story, 75,000 SF warehouse along with a three-story addition on the building’s north side. In line with the school’s goal to discover potential, we clad the existing brick walls in a new, high-performance skin, or “rain screen” technology. This improved the thermal performance of the building envelope and the integrity of the facility.

The design is comprised of classrooms; science and computer labs; health careers and family resource centers; a community clinic with social worker and psychologist offices and exam rooms; a library; a dining / multi-purpose room; a fitness center; and administrative and conference spaces. We arranged these program components to promote learning and casual interaction between the students and faculty.


We designed the building to evoke the uniqueness of the program it houses. The IHSCA is the first dedicated career academy in the state of Illinois and consolidates other educational programs provided by Instituto. Its curriculum prepares college-bound students as well as those whose goal is to work in a healthcare field after graduation.