Only a few months after Muchin College Prep and the Illinois Holocaust Museum had held their respective grand openings, high school students from the Noble Network of Charter School’s Muchin College Prep high school visited the new Illinois Holocaust Museum & Educational Center in Skokie, Ill.

Sixty freshman students visited the museum at the invitation of Bulley & Andrews, LLC. As the general contractor that built both Muchin College Prep and the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Bulley & Andrews was pleased to sponsor the event. It provided an ideal opportunity to educate the students about the history and universal lessons of the Holocaust.

“It was a rewarding opportunity to be involved in the construction of these two facilities,” said Tim Puntillo, vice president of Bulley & Andrews. “Sponsoring the students’ visit to the museum was the perfect way to impart our appreciation for the organizations’ complementary missions to educate.”

Muchin College Prep, a campus of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, is the first high school located in Chicago’s Loop, as well as the Midwest’s first high school in a high-rise. Opened last August, Muchin Prep serves Chicago Public School students from more than 40 neighborhoods across the city. Located in the former Mandel Brothers Department Store Building, the school was created with a 70,000-sq-ft interior build-out that earned LEED Gold certification.

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Educational Center opened its doors last April. It is the largest facility in the Midwest dedicated to preserving the memories of those lost in the Holocaust and teaching current generations about their role in combating intolerance and genocide in today’s world. The 65,000-sq-ft facility will likely be the last Holocaust museum built in collaboration with survivors.

The students were provided with a guided tour through the Karkomi Permanent Exhibition, the main exhibition of the museum. It is a chronological historical exhibition that tells the story of the Holocaust and includes over 500 artifacts, documents and photographs.

Following the tour, students had a chance to hear first-hand from a survivor of the Holocaust. Throughout their two-hour visit, the students were reminded of past and present genocides and urged in many ways to take action against bullying, hate and violence.

“In their Multicultural Literature class at school, the students were reading The Devil’s Arithmetic, a fictional account of a young girl who travels back in time to the Holocaust. Through this story, further research and much discussion, the students were learning about the Holocaust at the same time we visited the museum,” said Lauren Flynn, dean of students at Muchin College Prep.

The museum is expecting to host 250,000 students from throughout Illinois and the Midwest each year.