Masonry to the Rescue: New Laraway Elementary School

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Laraway Elementary School

Laraway Elementary School (Joliet, Illinois) exemplifies the flexibility of masonry . . . especially considering that the facility was initially designed to be constructed of precast concrete. When the design team at Legat Architects learned that market demand for precast would slow down the construction schedule, it quickly developed an alternative solution using masonry.

Working with Illinois Brick Company and Endicott Clay Products, Legat specified eightinch by eight-inch square brick modules with false joints to create the impression of vertically stacked smaller bricks.

Endicott manufactured the bricks with three different types of false joints and deliberately mixed the modules to ensure random placement. This faux vertical placement, coupled with green metal returns at window jambs, references crops and the farming heritage of the Joliet region.

Laraway Elementary School also features a stone wall that connects the facility’s two entries and curves through the cafeteria and courtyard. Called the “quarry wall,” it pays tribute to Joliet’s long history of quarrying limestone.

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