North Park University

Johnson Center for Science and Community Life

North Park University administrators and faculty were in agreement that teaching “21st century science in a mid-20th century building” was not representative of the University’s pedagogical mission. HERA was commissioned to bring the project to consensus in terms of program, plans, budget and direction.

HERA analyzed enrollment records for the previous five years prior to a series of interactive, on-campus workshops. Through interviews with faculty and a review of background data, the project team identified a science program deficit of 29,163 net assignable square feet. In addition, the workshops produced a consensus for a completely new building shared with student services functions.

The upper floors of the Sciences and Community Life Building comprise classrooms, laboratories and lecture halls for biology, environmental sciences, chemistry, mathematics, biology-athletic training, clinical laboratory sciences, nursing, physics and psychology.

The first floor features spaces for social interaction, a food court, café and offices for programs supporting co-curricular learning, vocational development, urban engagement and campus life.

“The test of the success of a new building is the impact on users. Faculty in the sciences are ecstatic. It is a beautiful facility – but, more importantly, it has achieved the functionality to which we aspired at the start. I would say that our dreams have been more than realized.”
Carl E. Balsam, Executive Vice President and CFO


Chicago, Illinois


101,000 GSF


Utilization study, master plan update, programming, lab planning, design and documentation, equipment planning