Construction - Referendum Phase II (2019)
Phase II includes the second story addition on top of the 1999 addition to the west side of West Chicago Community High School. The 1999 addition was originally constructed to be able to hold a second floor. Other projects will be confirmed soon.While planning is not yet completed and changes are still occurring, see below for a video created by our architects that will give you an idea of the look of the final project of the second story addition, due to be completed by the end of summer 2020.
If you have driven past the west side of West Chicago Community High School recently, you may have noticed some activity on the roof. Yes, construction of the second floor addition has begun! You can track our progress on a live feed camera at www.d94.org/construction. More information on the construction projects may be found there as well.
Once school is out this year and continuing through the fall of 2020, the west side student parking lot will not be available as it will be used for staging building materials. The teacher parking lot by the tennis courts will also be unavailable for the same reason. The entire area will be fenced off for safety. Entrances A and C will remain open for use during the school year, but Entrance B (the center entrance on the west side) will be closed.
Summer School 2019 is primarily being held in the LRC (library) and the Math wing. All students going to the LRC should enter through Entrance H (south side) and go up the stairs. Those attending classes in the Math wing should enter through Entrance E (pool entrance on the east side).
During our recent spring break, crews began erecting steel support posts, attaching them through the roof into the existing structure. Once this work was completed, masons began building the east wall of the new addition, already visible from the ground below.
The main goal for the summer of 2019 is to construct and enclose the entire second floor addition to the west side of the building. Interior finishing work will continue throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
More behind-the-scenes infrastructure work will continue this summer, including the construction of additional footings and cross-bracing to address building code changes since the 1999 addition was completed. We will continue with HVAC projects; last summer, 1/3 of our heating/air conditioning units were replaced or modernized, another 1/3 will be updated this summer, and the final 1/3 are scheduled for the summer of 2020. The building control system will be upgraded from pneumatic to digital, making it easier to maintain even temperatures throughout the school. No small feat in a building that has 400 rooms and more than 500,000 square feet!
In addition, we will continue with LED lighting upgrades, making the interior of the building brighter while bringing cost savings in utility bills. All told, 160 classrooms, storerooms and closets will be affected by construction this year. Every area of the building but the Math and Science wings will have some impact. Our staff has been extremely cooperative and helpful as they accommodate crews and pack up for this summer’s work.
The fall semester of 2019 will bring interior work on the new addition. Construction crews will have their own entrance and will not interact with students. Entrance B will become the new main entrance of the school. Both a staircase and an elevator will be constructed here to allow easy access to the new library on the second floor. The new addition will include Language Arts classrooms, the library, and new Music Department rehearsal spaces. While we are hopeful the Music Department can move in their new space over winter break, the Language Arts Division will not move until the summer of 2020. Second semester brings the demo of the old music area; crews will only work during 2nd shift to minimize the impact on student learning. Also, work will cease during semester finals and AP testing.
The summer of 2020 will bring additional infrastructure work, the focus primarily on the 1926 portion of the building. The storm sewer under this section of the building will be replaced. Many of the floors will be rebuilt. Commons will be modernized. The old library will be converted into classroom and breakout session spaces for our Social Studies classes. These new spaces will be furnished and equipped in time to begin the 2020-2021 school year.
Once again, we thank the community for their support of these building projects, and look forward to showing them off once construction is completed!