Stevenson High expansion could cost $50 million, officials say

  • Stevenson High School officials are considering expanding the athletic field house, which is part of the East Building on the right.

    Stevenson High School officials are considering expanding the athletic field house, which is part of the East Building on the right. Daily Herald File Photo, 2018

 
 
Updated 10/18/2019 4:44 PM

Stevenson High School officials are considering plans to expand and remodel the athletic field house and other parts of the Lincolnshire school.

In addition to more athletic space, the projects could result in renovated locker rooms, new academic rooms, new offices for employees and mechanical upgrades.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

District 125 officials predict the work could cost between $45 million and $50 million. A more exact estimate isn't available.

"We do not have a final cost yet for the projects, in part because the scope of the improvements has not be finalized," board President Steven Frost said.

The District 125 board will meet Monday to discuss spending about $700,000 on architectural work related to the projects, Stevenson spokesman Jim Conrey said. Final approval of any of the construction projects isn't expected until February, he said.

The field house is attached to Stevenson's East Building. Both were built in 1995 as part of a $25 million campus expansion.

Officials have proposed creating more court space in the field house, which is used for physical education classes, athletic practices and games for various sports.

"Due to the lack of court space, some teams are forced to hold practices in the early morning hours or at night," Conrey said. "We want to eliminate (that) as much as possible."

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Remodeled locker rooms and a new dedicated classroom for physical education have been proposed, too.

Additionally, Stevenson's athletic department offices could move to the field house from the sprawling campus's West Building, Conrey said.

Not all of the proposed changes concern athletics.

Officials are weighing remodeling and expanding offices in the East Building for counselors, social workers, psychologists and deans. Some staffers would relocate from the west side of campus, Conrey said.

Additionally, the school's peaker power plant could be upgraded.

If any of the projects are approved, construction could begin in 2020, Conrey said.

The school board likely would fund the projects with savings and by restructuring debt, Frost said. Officials don't intend to ask voters to approve a tax-rate increase.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The proposals are being considered just months after a $27 million, three-story expansion to the East Building was completed. That effort was funded with savings, loans and a state grant.

Monday's meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. in the administrative center behind the school, which is on Route 22 west of Milwaukee Avenue.

In other action Monday, the board will consider spending about $575,000 to replace the artificial turf field in the school stadium, Conrey said.

The board may also vote to repair the stadium's running track. A cost estimate wasn't immediately available.

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