Bids come in for $10 million, 23,000-square-foot Maine West gym addition

  • Maine West High School's gymnasium is due to receive a $10 million addition that includes a new wrestling room, dance studio and fitness center, and refurbished locker rooms and athletic offices.

      Maine West High School's gymnasium is due to receive a $10 million addition that includes a new wrestling room, dance studio and fitness center, and refurbished locker rooms and athletic offices. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer, June 2014

 
 
Updated 3/2/2015 5:34 AM

Maine Township High School District 207 officials have received six bids from contractors for a proposed $10 million expansion of the gymnasium at Maine West in Des Plaines.

A vote to approve a contract could come as early as Monday night's school board meeting, but it's likely approval will be delayed since district officials say they are still reviewing the bids.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 23,000-square-foot addition would include a new wrestling room, dance studio and fitness center, as well as remodeled locker rooms and athletic offices.

The addition will double the size of Maine West's spectator gym, which was constructed in the 1960s.

It stops short of a full-fledged field house -- an amenity that Maine South and Maine East have. A field house would include an indoor track; the old one is staying put for now in Maine West's basement.

District officials say they don't have the money for a Maine West field house at this point, but the addition would be constructed in such a way that it could accommodate a field house add-on in the future.

Last summer, the district unveiled plans for the gym addition as part of a 10-year capital improvement plan at the three district schools. The Maine West addition is one of the largest and most expensive projects in the plan, and the only one involving new construction.

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At the time, the cost to build was estimated at $9.3 million.

The bids that were received by the district last week were all around $10 million, with the lowest two bids about $26,000 apart. It's possible the final price could go up if district officials choose to add on project alternates, such as sidewalks, or air conditioning in some areas.

The project would be funded by a mix of annual property tax revenue, state revenue and reserve funds.

Construction is targeted to begin while school is still in session in April. Maine West officials have already decided to move graduation from the football stadium to the Rosemont Theatre, because the usual backup graduation location -- in case of inclement weather -- is the school gym.

The renovated gym is expected to be usable by September, while other areas will be finished in November.

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