Next phase of athletic fields upgrades at Buffalo Grove HS will be double cost of first

The estimated price tag for the second phase of athletic fields renovations at Buffalo Grove High School is nearly double the cost of the initial phase that will break ground this summer, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 officials revealed.

Phase two of the three-phase transformation of the school’s outdoor playing spaces is estimated to cost $9.8 million. The work would include a new varsity baseball field, dugouts, fencing, a double batting cage, netting, parking lot and upgraded stormwater system.

Construction crews in June will begin work on the $5 million initial phase just to the west: a new varsity girls’ softball field with dugouts and bleachers; an artificial turf field with lights for football, soccer, lacrosse and physical education classes; 10 tennis courts and associated bleachers; and a concession stand building with bathrooms and storage.

After approving bids for those upgrades in December, the school board earlier this month inked phase two project authorizations that set in motion an 18-month planning, design, bidding and construction process for the improvements expected to be complete in October 2025.

Those documents with Barrington-based construction manager Pepper Construction Co. and Chicago-based architect STR Partners contained the $9,857,139 cost estimate.

“We’re … pushing our capital improvements planning 18 months in advance so that we can maximize the bidding process and get the best bang for our buck in terms of being early in the bidding process to get a lower cost,” said Superintendent Scott Rowe. “We have a lot of work that needs to be done.”

A significant part of the phase two cost is for stormwater management. The new baseball field will replace a parking lot that is atop an old drainage basin, which will be replaced with a 2-story-tall water tank. The basin will be backfilled and the entire area raised in elevation, according to Chris Uhle, the district’s associate superintendent of activities and operations.

Phase two of athletic fields renovations at Buffalo Grove High School calls for a parking lot to make way for a new varsity baseball field with a restructured drainage basin. A dozen old tennis courts are also coming out, and a new parking lot is going in. Courtesy of Northwest Suburban High School District 214

The school board could formally vote to approve the phase two project in November after bids are received, and work would take place in summer 2025.

Officials haven’t provided a cost estimate for the final phase — scheduled for 2026 or 2027 — which calls for new artificial turf and a track in the football stadium, a visitors’ side concession stand and bathrooms, and upgraded entry plaza.

But Uhle said a suggestion by village officials to shift the school’s entrance along Dundee Road farther east so that it aligns with the Old Arlington Heights Road intersection would be $12 million to $14 million alone. The proposal — which would have moved the football stadium either north or west — has since been rejected by the school district, Pepper and STR Partners, Uhle confirmed.

A campus map shows the three phases of proposed athletic field renovations at Buffalo Grove High School. Courtesy of Northwest Suburban High School District 214
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