Marist High School, Monastery Hall

Henry Bros. Co. transformed a 28,000 S.F. former monastery into a 21st-century science center. Originally built in 1963 as home to 35 Marist Brothers, the new space is now a high-tech, STEM learning center that includes ten science labs. These include an AP lab, two biology labs, two chemistry labs, two physics labs, an anatomy and physiology lab, a forensics crime lab, and an environmental lab.

A centerpiece of the project is an observatory dome housed in a new addition for astronomy studies. A new substructure foundation with a canopy was built to support the dome and provide access to an outdoor deck. The dome features state-of-the-art, three-dimensional projections of night skies to show planets, galaxies, constellations, and other interplanetary features. These
visuals are accompanied by music for a full immersion effect. The lower level of the dome support structure houses a Tribute Room dedicated to the Marist Brothers.

Because the original monastery was a stand-alone structure, HBCo built a two-story corridor to seamlessly connect it to the high school. The monastery also had an enclosed courtyard which was filled in to add more space to the first and second floors. A key component of the project, due to unstable soils, was the installation of a helical pier system to support both existing and new footings for the added design loads. Throughout the project, careful attention was taken to ensure new MEP and other systems in the building supported all science center needs.


Marist High School


Chicago, IL


K-12 Education

Delivery Method

Construction Management


Fox & Fox Architects

Square Footage