D211 Post: Conant High School Gets Multiple Summer Improvements

A wall of plywood blocks off a hallway at James B. Conant High School, which is undergoing a large amount of reconstruction to update the school’s bathrooms.

            James B. Conant High School has been closed during the 2018 summer break while the school is receiving multiple upgrades and improvements.

            The largest renovation to the 55-year-old building, is a complete overhaul of nine of the school’s restrooms.  Renovations include new fixtures, plumbing improvements, installation of hand dryers, and HVAC updates.

            Lauren Hummel, District 211 chief operating officer said the temporary closing of the school during the summer months marked the third year a school on the south side of the District has been closed for renovations.

            “Working this way will allow us to complete all of the necessary updates without impacting students,” she said.

A bathroom at James B. Conant High School which has been torn down in preparation for a complete overhaul.

            Hummel added that all renovations inside the school will be completed in early August and the school will re-open in time for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year, which is Monday, August 13.

            Outside, multiple sports fields are receiving multiple renovations.  Hummel said these renovations include improved drainage and leveling of the grounds.

            “We are also using this opportunity to design the fields in such a manner as to maximize all of the space,” Hummel added.

            Including seeding, all work on the fields, which includes both softball and baseball fields, is expected to take nearly a year to complete.

Temporary water lines span the ceilings of James B. Conant High School during construction on the school’s bathrooms.

            The final major update to Conant High School will be a roof replacement over the school’s cafeteria.  Hummel said the section being replaced is more than 30 years old and was due for replacement.

            Total cost for all renovations at the school will be approximately $8.4 million which was approved by the Board of Education as part of the District’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget.




VIDEO: What Students Like About the New SHS Media Center

As educational initiatives in the classroom continue to migrate toward the use of increased technology and collaborative student learning, the spaces used to facilitate these initiatives will play a role in helping students develop the skills they will need upon entering college or starting a career. As learning migrates away from traditional practices of “checking out” hardcover books and increasingly toward greater utilization of electronic media, our libraries are working to digitalize media content through various electronic means. The educational goals for library space are less intended to provide an area that is designated for independent, quiet learning spaces, but is rather becoming a space where students can work collaboratively in a Learning Commons.

Upgrades to the Schaumburg High School Media Center to become a Learning Commons area were recently completed. As District 211 continues to expand technology in the classrooms and challenge students to work collaboratively through various media sources, the new Learning Commons is designed to facilitate development of 21st century skills, enhance opportunities for non-stop learning, and provide students with endless opportunities for collaborative learning.

Watch the video below to see what students are saying about the renovations.




Summer Renovations Start on Conant High School’s Pool, Main Office

CHS' pool renovation

CHS’ pool renovation

Renovations have started at Conant High School this summer on the building’s main office and pool. The pool renovations will enhance student opportunities in physical education, athletics, and community programs, as well as update aging equipment that can continue on a regular maintenance schedule for many years to come.

All five swimming pools in District 211 were built between 1975 and 1976, and are heavily utilized from early in the morning until late at night. Additionally, the schools’ pools are the most rented spaces by members of the community in the entire District. Due to normal maintenance, depth and regulation issues, and efficient utilization of space, this project affects the most individuals and has the highest completion priority.

CHS' front entrance and main office are under construction

CHS’ front entrance and main office are under construction

Another renovation is Conant High School’s main office and guidance area renovation, which will replace original building construction from 1962.  To increase student safety, any lockers in that hallway will be removed and the main offices will serve as checkpoints for school visitors without mixing in with students. This renovation will keep Conant’s offices up to date with the other schools in the District and increase safety standards.

Each week the D211 Post will showcase renovation progress of projects in District 211.




District 211 Presents Facilities and Capital Improvement Plans to Board of Education

District 211 logoThe High School District 211 administration presented its plans for long-range capital improvement projects through the next five years, as well as required Life Safety work and maintenance schedules.

Several facility and capital improvement projects are outlined for the next five school years and were presented to the Board of Education at its meeting on March 20. Although the Board has seen proposals in the past for some of the projects, such as swimming pool renovations, improvements and plans also were introduced for future consideration by the Board.

The District is currently in a strong financial position, and has worked to build reserves to use for the upcoming improvements. The projects, which correlate with educational goals, building utilization, and site improvement and maintenance schedules, are projected to total $52.5 million through the 2018-2019 school years. Bids will continue throughout the spring to finalize the cost for some of the upcoming approved and proposed projects.

Facility and Capital Improvement Planning Timeline (click to enlarge)

Facility and Capital Improvement Planning Timeline (click to enlarge)

“The District has been planning for long-term capital improvements over the past several years.  Our long term planning, budget reductions and operational efficiencies have put us in a strong financial position which would allow us the opportunity to fund these proposed projects in entirety through our use of reserves” said Lauren Hummel, Chief Operating Officer-Elect for District 211.

Facility and capital improvements include:

  • Proposed pool renovations at all five schools, beginning with Conant High School this summer;
  • Proposed renovation of Conant High School’s main office and guidance area this summer;
  • Approved wireless access point expansions at each building;
  • Proposed auditorium lighting and sound upgrades at four schools modeled after Hoffman Estates High School’s recent improvements;
  • Proposed media center upgrades;
  • Proposed athletic field upgrades;
  • Proposed second floor math and science corridor at Conant High School;
  • Negotiations to lease the former Barrington Orthopedic building adjacent to Hoffman Estates High School to house District alternative education programs; and
  • Proposed Adult Transition Program relocation at Palatine High School

Several renovations and improvements are upgrading facilities that date back to the 1960s and 1970s, which have served the District for many years due to regular maintenance schedules.

“It is such an exciting time for the District to able to propose a capital improvement plan that will positively impact every student in our district in one capacity or another,” Hummel said. “The plan allows us to make timely improvements to facilities that have served us well; some for 40+ years.”

Approved and proposed capital improvement projects also are in conjunction with scheduled Life Safety work.  Life Safety work is mandated by State Board of Education regulations within the School Building Code and the Health Life Safety Code, in addition to occupational safety standards of the Illinois Department of Labor.

The planning of these projects allows for the District to remain in a favorable financial position while utilizing reserve funds. Each new project will not interfere with other annual and cyclical maintenance and repair work, and will be staggered between different schools throughout the next five years. Project scheduling and considerations include planning and priority of scheduled Life Safety work, summer school impact, and funding resources.

To read more about upcoming and proposed building and capital improvement projects, please visit BoardDocs here.

 




District 211 Announces Pool, Office Renovations as part of Capital Outlay Improvements

Each of the District's five swimming pools will be renovated.

Each of the District’s five swimming pools will be renovated as part of long-range capital outlay and improvement projects.

Township High School District 211 announced its plans for long-range capital outlay and improvement projects throughout the next several years.

Five prioritized projects are outlined for the next five school years and were presented to the Board of Education at its meeting on April 11. The projects, which correlate with educational goals, building utilization, and site improvement and maintenance schedules, are projected to total $34.6 million through the 2017-2018 school years.

“As a District, we are very strategic in setting direction for these projects,” said Dave Torres, associate superintendent for business as District 211. “We look at key areas, such as how these projects relate to what we do instructionally and operationally, and prioritize based on program commitments and available funding.”

Renovations include, in prioritized order, pool renovations at all five schools, renovation of Conant High School’s main office and guidance area, upgrades on Fremd High School’s west side parking lot and tennis court area, relocation of the Adult Transitions Program (ATP), and a connecting corridor between the main building and the science addition at Conant High School.

All five swimming pools in District 211 were built between 1975 and 1976, and are heavily utilized from early in the morning until late at night. Additionally, the schools’ pools are the most rented spaces by members of the community in the entire District. Due to normal maintenance, depth and regulation issues, and efficient utilization of space, this project affects the most individuals and has the highest completion priority.

Another high priority renovation is Conant High School’s main office and guidance area renovation, which will replace original building construction from 1962.  To increase student safety, any lockers in that hallway will be removed and the main offices will serve as checkpoints for school visitors without mixing in with students. This renovation will keep Conant’s offices up to date with the other schools in the District and increase safety standards.

Lockers will be removed from the main entrance and offices to increase student safety and update the building.

Lockers will be removed from where the main offices are located to increase student safety and update original building construction from 1962.

“When you look at the ages of our facilities, we have schools that were built in the 1960s and early 1970s. Like everything else, we have to account for the aging conditions, and reinvest in infrastructure and improvements,” Torres said. “When we develop a long-term capital plan, we’re always looking at the financial implications, timing of project completion and overlapping renovations.”

Torres said the District is in the right position to plan these renovations now.

The District has adequate reserves in its operational fund that will be designated toward these important renovations. All project funding is coming from the District’s reserves, and no debt spending will occur.

Additionally, the planning of these projects allows for the District to remain in a favorable financial position while utilizing funds. Each project will not interfere with other annual and cyclical maintenance and repair work, and will be staggered between different schools. Project scheduling and considerations include planning and priority of scheduled Life Safety work, summer school impact, and funding resources.

“These are very exciting and useful facility improvement projects planned,” Torres said. “The renovations will build on our District’s long standing commitment to provide quality facilities that contribute to our educational program and have a positive impact on students and staff.”