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Education

'A lot going on' as District 99 moves forward with construction plans

Community High School District 99 will hold a community meeting Oct. 17 during which specific plans for the changes and upgrades at Downers Grove North and South high schools will be unveiled.
Community High School District 99 will hold a community meeting Oct. 17 during which specific plans for the changes and upgrades at Downers Grove North and South high schools will be unveiled.

DOWNERS GROVE – The past few weeks have been busy ones in Community High School District 99 as officials take important steps toward making the master facility plan a reality.

The pace is not expected to change in October. The district will hold a community meeting Oct. 17 during which specific plans for the changes and upgrades at Downers Grove North and South high schools will be unveiled.

“That will be a debut of what we’re planning on doing,” Superintendent Hank Thiele said at the Sept. 17 Board of Education meeting.

Much of the initial legwork required before construction can begin next year is underway, Thiele said.

“We’ve been holding quite a few meetings over the past few weeks,” he said.

Additionally, topography and utility surveys have been completed at both schools, and soil borings were finished and are being reviewed, Thiele said.

Initial environmental noise surveys have been conducted – a recommendation district officials received when they visited New Trier High School, which completed a $104.9 million renovation and addition project in 2017 at its east campus.

The district plans to conduct environmental noise studies before, during and after the construction projects are completed to “make sure that any of the changes we make don’t result in our neighbors having any additional sounds than what we have now,” Thiele said.

District officials on Sept. 18 met with residents who live near the two schools to discuss the construction projects so that they understand how the outside edges of the buildings and sites will be changed over the next few years, he said.

Meanwhile, there is one prototype classroom at each school that features the lighting, walls, floors and furniture that will be featured in all classrooms when the project is completed.

The initial building design concepts for Downers Grove South are nearly complete, and plans for North will be done before the end of the month. Schematic drawings are expected to be presented to the school board Oct. 1 and the design teams Oct. 2, Thiele said.

“We have a lot going on over the next few months,” he said.

The final plans will be submitted to the village of Downers Grove for the planning and zoning process later in the fall, and the project will be bid over the winter, Thiele said.

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