Northwest Suburban High School District 214 is planning $10.8 million in building additions and upgrades at its schools this summer, including a fine arts music wing at Buffalo Grove High School and small theater at Rolling Meadows High.
The projects will wrap up a multiyear district capital program, resulting in $45 million in renovations at all six high schools and the district administration center.
"We're trying to make sure the huge assets of the community and district are kept in the best condition as possible for as long as possible," said Ted Birren, the district's director of operations, who has overseen the projects.
Previous work has included a $13.5 million swimming pool at Prospect, a $3.5 million practice gymnasium additions at Wheeling and Elk Grove, a $2.5 million Wheeling music area addition, and a $1.5 million Hersey library upgrade.
Teachers, students, parents and residents who attended listening sessions in 2014 gave feedback on what capital work should be funded with surplus reserve funds.
The school board last Thursday took the first step in approving the first set of construction bids for the summer 2018 projects, with more bid approvals expected in February and March. Here's a closer look at what's being planned:
• A $3 million, 8,500-square-foot fine arts music addition at Buffalo Grove will provide more space and better acoustics for the school's band, orchestra and choir, Birren said. It will be situated on the south end of the school building, closer to the auditorium than the current area. Plans call for the old band room to be converted into a dedicated wrestling practice space.
• A new outdoor concessions area and bathrooms will be added to Buffalo Grove's football stadium for $500,000. The library also will receive $250,000 in upgrades.
• A $2.5 million, 9,000-square-foot "black box" theater will be added to the north side of Rolling Meadows' building for small theater productions and acting classes. The 100-seat venue will have collapsible padded seats, so the space can be made into a multipurpose room for any number of school uses. By comparison, the school's auditorium has 600 fixed seats.
• A $75,000 fine and performing arts storage space will be added to Rolling Meadows for set pieces, band uniforms and instrument cases.
• Rolling Meadows' football stadium will get a renovated concession stand and athletic storage space for $500,000. Ramps and accessible seating for people with disabilities will be added to both Rolling Meadows' and Buffalo Grove's stadiums.
• Smaller building upkeep projects will take place at Wheeling, Elk Grove and the administration center in Arlington Heights, totaling $4 million, including roofing, tuckpointing, plumbing and asbestos abatement.
Workers will begin setting foundations and erecting steel for the Buffalo Grove and Rolling Meadows building additions after spring break, with the work targeted for completion by Thanksgiving. The other projects will begin after school is out in June and should wrap up by the time students return.