$4.7 million in projects on Stevenson High underway

  • Jarlath Lynch, right, a project manager with the Gilbane construction company, talks to Stevenson High School spokesman Jim Conrey about the renovation of the school's east cafeteria. It's one of several summertime construction projects at the Lincolnshire campus.

      Jarlath Lynch, right, a project manager with the Gilbane construction company, talks to Stevenson High School spokesman Jim Conrey about the renovation of the school's east cafeteria. It's one of several summertime construction projects at the Lincolnshire campus. Russell Lissau | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/6/2017 6:21 PM

Thirteen construction projects totaling $4.7 million are turning Stevenson High School into a giant hard-hat zone this summer.

The renovation of the East Building's cafeteria, the replacement of the band shell in the performing arts center and the repaving of Stevenson Drive are just a few of the projects to be completed before students return in mid-August.

 

The summer to-do list doesn't include a $28 million expansion of the East Building, which won't get started until early September and likely will take about two years to complete.

The renovation of the east cafeteria is the costliest project on the list, estimated to come in at nearly $1.5 million.

The space has been gutted, and crews are essentially building a cafeteria from scratch. When it's done, the space will closely resemble the West Building's cafeteria, which was renovated last summer.

Officials say the west cafeteria is much more popular than its eastern counterpart, so much so that it attracts students from the east side of the sprawling campus during lunch periods.

The new east cafeteria will have a salad bar, a station for international dishes and a station for more traditional foods -- just like the one on the west side.

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"It just makes sense having the same options in both buildings," Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey said.

Officials hope the east-side offerings will give students with classes on that side of the building more time to enjoy their meals, as they won't have to run to and from the West Building for lunch.

The effort also should ease the workload for employees in the west cafeteria, Conrey said.

"This will balance the labor a little bit," he said.

There's more to the summer construction schedule that a new lunch line, of course.

The roof over Stevenson's performing arts center is being replaced, at a cost of more than $853,000.

Inside the arts center, crews are replacing the band shell that reflects sound from the stage to the audience. The new shell will be more easily movable for different performances than its predecessor, Conrey said, and the acoustics should improve.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That project will cost nearly $687,000.

Other summer projects include:

• Final infrastructure updates in the west cafeteria, estimated at more than $485,000.

• The construction of a new press box at the school stadium, estimated at more than $281,000.

• The resurfacing of Stevenson Drive, the main road leading to the school buildings, estimated at nearly $185,000.

• The construction of new scorer's tables at the indoor swimming pool, estimated at more than $99,000.

The summer projects will quickly be followed by the start of the East Building addition. That three-story project calls for more classrooms, science labs, a rooftop greenhouse and other educational elements.

It will add roughly 56,800 square feet to the building and should be done in time for the 2019-20 school year.

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