New STEM wing rising at Mundelein High School

  • The expansion at Mundelein High School -- with a facade resembling the periodic table of elements -- is on budget and expected to be completed on time this summer. Classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering and math education are the focus of the three-story addition.

    The expansion at Mundelein High School -- with a facade resembling the periodic table of elements -- is on budget and expected to be completed on time this summer. Classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering and math education are the focus of the three-story addition. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

  • Classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering and math education are the focus of the $23.7 million expansion at Mundelein High School.

    Classrooms and labs for science, technology, engineering and math education are the focus of the $23.7 million expansion at Mundelein High School. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted1/16/2016 7:40 AM

If your commute takes you down West Hawley Street in Mundelein, you've probably marveled at the enormous, glass-faced edifice rising on the Mundelein High School campus.

After nine months of work, the $23.7 million, three-story classroom expansion is looking impressive. It's also on budget and on schedule for a planned August 2016 completion, Mundelein High business manager Andy Searle said.

 

"The construction is going quite well," Searle said. "We are trying to get the building envelope totally enclosed so we can begin work on the interior walls and finishes of the building."

The building is going up on what had been a large courtyard. Work began in April.

If you think the building's facade resembles the periodic table of elements, you're not wrong. That was a deliberate design choice, because the roughly 52,000-square-foot structure will be dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math education.

"There was so much time and effort put into the design, and it is very gratifying to see all that work come to fruition," Searle said.

The project hasn't been without hiccups.

Some windows accidentally were broken while being moved from an on-site storage area and are awaiting replacement, Searle said. The frames now are covered with plywood.

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An $8.3 million state grant will cover about 35 percent of the construction project's cost. The rest of the cash will come from a loan.

Mundelein High last underwent a significant expansion in 1997. Classrooms and a library were among the new amenities included in that $12.5 million project.

Searle said he's heard "great support" from the Mundelein High staff and community regarding the project and the larger goal of providing better science and technology education.

"(People) will be very excited to see the kind of programing MHS will be able to provide at a state-of-the-art building in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and business," he said. "This a great value to our community."

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