Johnson Center for Science and Community Life

North Park University
Published 3-25-2015
  • Chemistry Lab

    Photo by Ballogg Photography

  • Smart/Creative Classroom

    Photo by Ballogg Photography

  • Physics Lab

    Photo by Ballogg Photography

  • Biology/Botany Lab

    Photo by Ballogg Photography

  • Collaboration Pod

    Photo by Ballogg Photography

With its new Johnson Center for Science and Community Life, North Park University has embarked on a unique effort to combine STEM education with student life. The building contains all science classrooms—biology, chemistry, physics, math, engineering, psychology, and general science—plus all aspects of student engagement.

The academic spaces are well equipped for a small university:

  • Smart Technology, including lecture capture capabilities, distance learning, and real-time sharing of data for collaboration and group activity
  • 10 Smart classrooms
  • 30 Smart laboratories
  • $850,000 worth of state-of-the-art science equipment, including an NMR machine used in analytical chemistry for determining molecular structure
  • HDTV interactive SmartPodiums with wireless airplay from iPads
  • ADA compliance for wheelchair accessibility throughout every lab
  • Equipment and areas for the study of anatomy (cadaver lab), molecular genetics, zoology, and microscopy

Along with the new equipment and facility, the University has completely transformed its lab management program to include the creation of a new chemical hygiene officer/lab safety officer (CHO/LSO) position.

Laboratories are clustered by relevant commonalities and adjoined to flexible faculty research stations. Specific building features were designed to further enhance faculty/student interaction and student life:

  • “Pods” to support student/faculty research and discussion
  • Balcony and student lounge overlooking the two-story atrium/entrance lobby
  • Three seating zones with fireplaces
  • Dedicated prayer room
  • Seminar and conference rooms with catering capabilities for on-site events

The first floor houses spaces for social interaction, a food court, and café, in addition to the offices of Residence Life and Housing, Career Development and Internships, and Student Success; the International Office, and University Ministries.

The upper floors house classrooms, laboratories, and lecture halls for biology, biology-athletic training, chemistry, clinical laboratory sciences, environmental sciences, mathematics, nursing, physics, and psychology.

Teaching and research labs include botany, human physiology, neuro research, biology research, BSL-2, molecular genetics, cell biology, microbiology, general chemistry, advanced chemistry, chemistry research, organic chemistry, instrument lab, advanced psychology, general psychology, anatomy lab, cadaver lab, histology/embriology, vertebrate/ethology, vivaria, animal holding, aquatics holding, physics research, general physics, advanced physics, and laser lab.

The building was awarded LEED Gold certification.

Project Data
Project Type: 
New Construction
Completion Date: 
August, 2014
Chicago, IL
Delivery Method: 
CM at Risk
Project GSF: 
Construction Cost: 
Building Descriptors: 
Higher Education
Education: Biology
Education: Chemistry
Education: Classroom
Education: Physics
Education: Student Center
Laboratory: Research
Laboratory: Teaching
Laboratory: Wet
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
VOA Associates, Inc.
W.B. Olson, Inc.
HERA Laboratory Planners
Laboratory Planner
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer
The Hill Group
Mechanical Engineer
Robert L. Miller Associates
Structural Engineer
Hoerr Schaudt
Landscape Architect
The Boldt Company
Owner's Representative
Scott Laboratory Solutions
Hamilton Scientific
Fume Hoods
Automated Logic
Building Controls
Daikin McQuay
Air Handlers
Lochinvar Crest
Condensing Boilers
Air-Cooled Chiller
Greenheck Fan Corporation
Lab Exhaust Fan and Energy Recovery Unit
Horizontal Four-Pipe ECM Fan Coil Units
Air Valves and Controls
Lab Air Compressor and Vacuum Pump