Stevenson High School details plans for massive expansion
Stevenson High School officials publicly unveiled designs for a massive expansion to the school's field house and East Building on Monday.
The 106,300-square-foot project, which school officials have said could cost $45 million to $50 million, calls for athletic courts, an artificial turf playing field, a larger running track, an area for exercise equipment, and other features to be built in the enlarged field house. Offices and other amenities also are planned as part of the project.
The plans were revealed to Lincolnshire officials Monday night during the village board's committee-of-the-whole meeting. The board eventually will need to approve the construction plans and requests for some zoning variances.
The current 870,000-square-foot field house is attached to Stevenson's East Building. An expansion was proposed to accommodate enrollment growth.
About 4,350 students attend Stevenson this year, making it one of the largest schools in the Chicago area. Based on housing construction trends and other factors, that figure is expected to exceed 4,900 by 2029, Stevenson's assistant superintendent for business, Sean Carney, told the board.
A building addition would allow Stevenson to expand physical-education class offerings, Carney said. Demand for some classes exceeds availability, he said.
The project is expected to be broken into two parts.
In the first phase, to be undertaken this summer, a power plant adjacent to the field house would be expanded to generate more electricity. Power and natural gas lines near the field house would be relocated and upgraded, too, and a nearby electrical transformer would be moved as well.
Inside the field house, a wall that separates the basketball courts from an indoor swimming pool would be removed and structural supports needed for the eventual extension of the field house roof would be installed.
The second phase would see the field house enlarged and parts of the East Building expanded and remodeled. That work would begin in summer 2021 and run through summer 2022.
Perhaps most noticeably, the number of basketball courts in the field house would grow to six from four. Accordingly, a running track to be built around those courts would be larger than the current track.
Enlarging the track is a particularly important element of the project. The current track is smaller than most schools' tracks and too small for certain events, Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey told the Daily Herald.
"For example, we are unable to run a 100-meter dash during indoor meets because we don't have 100 meters of straight lanes. We only have 60 meters," he said.
An athletic trainers' room would be part of the addition, too, and the athletic department offices are set relocate to the field house from the West Building.
Additionally, the student counseling area near the field house would be expanded and renovated.
Some trustees voiced concerns that a building addition would reduce parking spaces on campus. In response, Carney said officials are encouraging students to carpool.
The school board likely would fund the projects with savings and by restructuring debt.