GEMS World Academy Upper School gets permission to complete its latest assignment

With a permit issued Wednesday, the GEMS World Academy Upper School has official permission to complete its 13-story building in Lakeshore East. That allows Power Construction to continue their progress on the bKL Architecture-designed facility. Students are expected to start using the Upper School in Winter 2019.

You can watch progress for yourself by following this link to the youtube construction cam; the cam is also accessible from bKL Archtecture’s GEMS World Academy Upper School page linked above.

A core grows up at GEMS World Academy Upper School

GEMS World Academy Upper School May 2018

GEMS World Academy Upper School rises on the south bank of the Chicago River.

Not many words needed for this one. Just showing you a few photos of Power Construction’s progress on the new GEMS World Academy Upper School in Lakeshore East. We tend to give a lot more attention to its supertall neighbor (that seems to be okay with GEMS’ neighbor bKL Architecture, the firm behind designs for both buildings), so let’s make sure GEMS gets its due too.

 

GEMS Academy Upper School wedging its way into small Lakeshore East recess

I desperately wanted to make some sort of school pun. Not sure the recess thing even makes sense, but I tried. Wedged as the new school is between Vista Tower construction and Coast apartment tower, it seemed like a decent analogy.

The Upper School at GEMS World Academy Chicago is rising at 355 East Wacker Drive. Designed by bKL Architecture, as was the first GEMS school, Power Construction has the task of completing the facility.

GEMS foundation work includes a tower crane pad

GEMS World Academy Upper School

Sparks fly as the tower crane pad is readied at the GEMS World Academy Upper School.

Caisson work at GEMS World Academy Upper School in Lakeshore East started and finished in the fall. Then, we all settled in for winter. But now that the ground is thawing, Power Construction is back to work on the bKL Architects-designed school.

Will this be the next tower crane erected in March? It sure looks like that pad is just about ready for a stub. That would get Chicago back into the 30s, as long as the crane is fully assembled before any of the topped-out projects bring theirs down. No pressure, Power! (But don’t take 900 West or 465 North Park down too soon…)

It’s caisson time for GEMS World Academy Upper School

GEMS Upper School caissons

Checking out a caisson from above at GEMS World Academy Upper School.

The Upper School at GEMS World Academy Chicago has begun caisson work at 355 East Wacker Drive. Case Foundation is on site digging long, slender holes in the ground and then filling them right back in with rebar and concrete.

Originally issued a foundation permit way back in March of 2015, the GEMS Upper School got a new caisson permit on September 20. Designed by bKL Architecture, as was the first GEMS school, Power Construction will take build the school atop the Case’s caissons.

GEMS World Academy Upper School begins work next to its famous neighbor

GEMS World Academy Upper School

No longer a staging area for Vista Tower, site prep is underway for GEMS World Academy Upper School. It will fill the space between to Vista and Coast.

As if we didn’t have enough to watch along East Wacker Drive.

A couple weeks back – on August 4 to be precise – GEMS World Academy Chicago announced the start of construction on the Upper School, which will be built right up against the underway Vista Tower. (You may have heard of that.) Designed, as was the original GEMS building, by bKL Architecture, the Upper School will be a 17-story, 240,000-square-foot facility accommodating more than 1,400 students.

For now, site prep is underway, with Power Construction serving as general contractor.

You can read the August 4 press release from GEMS here.