Woodlands Academy is situated on 19 wooded acres with beautiful ravine views. The school was built on its current site Lake Forest in 1961. 

A stunning chapel, bronze memorial statue, landscaped walkways, and a graceful driveway distinguish Woodlands’ entrance. Two internal courtyards provide outdoor space for study and recreation.

All of Woodlands’ buildings are contiguous. Our grounds provide spacious venues for community gatherings in the fall and spring. 

Woodlands houses classrooms, two art rooms, a ceramics kiln, a newly renovated Student Services Center, the Science Center, a complete photography lab, a student lounge, music practice rooms, and a large dining room with food service.

Our two-floor boarding school boasts kitchens, student lounges, Internet study rooms, and laundry facilities.

Bolton Sullivan Information Commons

The Bolton Sullivan Information Commons is one of Woodlands’ greatest resources, providing students and faculty abundant access to print, web, and audiovisual tools, including more than 15,000 volumes, newspapers, magazines, and digital media.

The LMC website offers 24/7 access to a variety of online reference databases that allow students to search authoritative resources either from campus or remotely.

The LMC features a magnificent stained glass window of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and a child. The window was originally installed in 1924 in the main building of Barat College, and was given to Woodlands in 2008 by the Barat Education Foundation. Doors on either side of the window open to a beautifully landscaped interior courtyard where students are able to study and enjoy the outdoors.

Reynolds Technology Center

Technology is fundamental to a Woodlands Academy education. We recognize new and existing technology’s dynamic potential to enrich and enhance our students' learning experiences. The school implements technology in a variety of ways to support our faculty, staff, and students’ evolving needs for cutting-edge information access and media functionality:

  • We provide wireless access to the Internet and the network from anywhere in our building.
  • Woodlands boasts a ratio of 1 networked computer for every 3 students.
  • Every teacher is equipped with an iPad and a wireless laptop.
  • To enhance interactivity and mobility, classrooms and all-school events use Rear Screen Projection SmartBoards.
  • Our Boarding School has its own computer center and wireless Internet access.
  • The Reynolds Technology Center features two state-of-the art computer labs (Mac and PC), equipped with a poster-size color printer, laser printers, high definition display with cable TV and Apple TV service, and digital cameras for video and picture editing.
  • Our student publications use industry standard desktop publishing software.
  • We encourage students to utilize the school's network environment by using their personal Android or MAC iOS devices, including mobile device AirPrint.
  • Printing capabilities are provided throughout the school for faculty, staff, students, and guests.

Boarding School

Our boarding students experience a nurturing community that they truly call “home.” Our Residence Life Program attracts students who have a strong desire to succeed in their studies and who wish to participate in life at a Sacred Heart school.

The Residence Life Staff offer boarding students stability and continuity 24/7. We provide programming that complements the school’s academic curriculum and Woodlands’ abundant extracurricular opportunities.

Boarding students live in single rooms on two floors of the boarding school. Our boarding facilities include wireless Internet access, student lounges, a fully equipped and stocked kitchen, study rooms, a computer lab, shower facilities, and a laundry room. Our Residence Life staff are present on both floors at all times. After school hours, boarding students have access to our library, music practice rooms, school dining hall, and kitchen.

Woodlands’ dining service provides balanced and healthy meals to our boarding students daily and lunch to the entire Woodlands community on school days. Our boarding school kitchen is regularly stocked with healthy snacks that are available to students at all times.

Athletics Facilities

The Woodlands Academy Athletic Program promotes lifetime fitness and good health and supports interscholastic sports as important opportunities for students to develop athletic skills, teamwork, and leadership.

Our gymnasium, home to Wildcat volleyball and basketball teams, includes a locker room and shower facilities. Carney Field, adjacent to the school, hosts field hockey and soccer matches. Tennis courts on the school grounds are the scene of junior varsity tennis team practices and matches, while varsity home matches are held nearby at the Waveland Park courts in Lake Forest. Softball practices and games take place at West Park in Lake Forest. Our modernized weight room, enhanced in 2012 as part of the Student Services Center renovations, provides exercise equipment for team sports and personal fitness.

Foyer Gallery

The Woodlands Academy Fine Arts program integrates the arts throughout our school community. The Foyer Gallery is located in the school’s main lobby and along the adjacent corridor to the Haggerty Center. The Gallery’s objectives are to showcase our students’ creativity, talent, and achievement while fostering an appreciation of the visual arts.

Many of the featured works have won awards in juried exhibitions, and our Gallery earns frequent praise from visitors who comment on the depth and quality of our students’ artistic expression.

Susan Saint James '63 Performing Arts Center

The Susan Saint James Performing Arts Center (PAC) is Woodlands’ own version of a black box theater. Dedicated to actor and philanthropist Susan Saint James ’63, it gives life to our students’ ideas and imagination, and serves as home to annual productions.

The PAC’s black box design emphasizes the most human elements of the script, enhancing both the audience’s experience of the narrative and the actors’ nuanced performances. Our students enjoy the many advantages of developing the craft of acting and the skills of performing before an audience in an intimate theater setting.

The Performing Arts Center’s 100-seat capacity is sold-out for most student performances.

Woodlands Academy Chapel

The Woodlands Academy Chapel of the Sacred Heart is perhaps the most distinctive element of the school’s architecture. The Chapel’s soaring angles, strong vertical windows, and Christian cross clearly identify Woodlands as a Sacred Heart school and remind us of the power of God’s enduring love.

The Woodlands community gathers in this beautiful sanctuary for all-school assemblies, music and choral performances, Chapel homeroom on Wednesdays, and, of course, for the many liturgies and prayer services that are essential to the Sacred Heart experience.

The Woodlands Academy Chapel of the Sacred Heart is available for weddings. Please contact the school for further information

Haggerty Center

The Haggerty Conference Center is named for Woodlands’ benefactors Lawrence G. and Mary Ellen Haggerty, parents of five and grandparents of two Woodlands Academy alumnae. The center consists of two conference rooms, a kitchen, and a foyer. The smaller conference room is ideal for committee meetings, seminars, conference calls, and small classes. Both rooms feature state-of-the-art multimedia presentation equipment, including Apple TV and large flat screen televisions. The Haggerty Center hosts gatherings of many types, including visiting speakers’ presentations, Board of Trustees and faculty meetings, luncheons, and parties.

Built in 1998, the Haggerty Conference Center was designed to expand Woodlands’ capacity to host various gatherings on the school campus. Historical photos and shadow boxes of memorabilia decorate the walls of the larger conference room and offer glimpses into our Chicago and Lake Forest Sacred Heart past.

Student Services Center

From the gymnasium to the 400 wing classrooms, a Woodlands student has immediate access to a suite of student services areas that enhance her Woodlands experience. Renovated in 2012 and focused on whole-person wellness, the Student Services Center offers a dance/yoga studio, a college counseling suite, improved and expanded space for our unique Learning Program, a modernized weight room, a nurse's office and school infirmary, a renovated locker room, and additional student work and community space. 

The Science Center & Outdoor Classroom

Completed in 2010 as part of the 3.5 million dollar Transforming Lives Capital Campaign, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified Science Center offers an abundance of student space. Three new classrooms were added, along with prep rooms, storage space, and additional rooms for long-term student projects.

The facility is, in part, powered by green energy, with six solar panels feeding directly into the Science Center energy panel. Students are able to monitor energy levels generated by the panels via a monitor and a continually updated website.

The Science Center is recognized by LEED as a structure which meets international standards for energy savings, water efficiency, emissions reduction, and stewardship of resources.

The Outdoor Classroom, the first of its kind in the Chicago area, is home to three ecosystems:  The Midwest Plaines that occupied the land a century ago, woodland ravines, and a bioswale that removes pollution from surface water before it enters sewer systems.