Building for Success
District 58 Facility Updates
District 58 has had extensive community and staff involvement with its plans to add onto and upgrade its aging school buildings following the successful November 2022 referendum. This web page is to keep you further informed of updates on those plans.
Goals of project
The community approved a $179 million bond referendum to improve District 58’s 13 school facilities in the Nov. 8 election. The referendum goals were fourfold:
- Create secure vestibules at all of our school buildings
- Provide air conditioning in all of our schools (two already are air-conditioned) and address air quality and ventilation
- Transition 6th grade to our current 7-8th grade middle schools, which would address overcrowding in the elementary schools
- Address critical infrastructure needs at our schools such as replacing roofs, plumbing and electrical, and addressing state-mandated repairs
Benefits of project
The benefits are many to these projects. Our schools are between 53 and 94 years old and needed significant repairs. These improvements will make our buildings safer and more secure, extend the useful life of existing facilities, reduce emergency repairs, enhance ADA accessibility, create classrooms that can leverage instructional technology, improve the middle school experience and free up needed space at the elementary schools.
Now that the referendum has been approved, the focus in 2023 is to develop conceptual designs, conduct traffic studies, submit necessary permits and develop schematic designs. Phase I construction work will then begin in the summer of 2024 on the largest projects – additions and renovations at the two middle schools O’Neill and Herrick. Additionally, during the summer of 2024, renovation/repairs will occur at four elementary schools. The middle school work will begin in the spring/summer of 2024 and is expected to be completed by August 2026. Any interior renovations that could impact students would occur during the summers.
Phase 2 would include work on another four elementary schools in the summer of 2025. Phase 3 would address work on the remaining three elementary schools in the summer of 2026.
At Visioning Sessions in February 2023, followed by a Visioning Survey, parents, staff and community members voiced opinions on their priorities about design elements. They indicated that the work should:
- Accommodate flexibility so the buildings can be useful if demands and priorities change in the future
- Foster choice and independence in students so they can follow their passions
- Promote safe and sustainable environments
- Create warm and welcoming spaces to learn with natural light and color choices
- Honor tradition with timeless spaces and not passing fads.
Please Click the Buttons Below to Learn More About District 58 Facility Planning:
Schematic Designs of Middle Schools
Here are schematic drawings and site plans on the renovations and additions to the two middle schools. They were shared by the District’s architects Wight & Co. and contractor Bulley & Andrews at the Board of Education's June 12, 2023 meeting. In developing these proposed designs, the goal is to accommodate flexibility and agility, foster choice and independence, promote safe and sustainable environments and create warm and welcoming environments. It was noted that these schematics and site plans are still drafts subject to change as well as approval of permits by the village. The paln will include the following elements:
- Architects will use brick and limestone, like the existing building, for additions in order to create a more unified identity.
- The main entrance will be more identifiable.
- The new gym will double as a storm shelter, will be able to be divided and be large enough for all students to move into the space.
- The back entrance will be transformed into an events entrance that is also more identifiable.
- Buses will pull up and disembark on 59th St. Parent drop-off will be on the south side.
- Kitchen and service areas will be expanded.
- Space will be added for more parking; the northeast side can double as event parking.
- Bus traffic will be separated from car traffic and parent drop-off.
- The floor plan will improve circulation in the hallways and fewer dead-end corridors.
- The same palette of materials will be used for the additions so there is unity in the building design.
- Offices for student services will be consolidated in one area so students have easier access.
- The gym can be divided and bleachers will be built to fold in to create more space.
- There will be a new event entrance that will be identifiable.
- Kitchen and service areas will be expanded.
The projects reflect the stated overarching goals of the referendum:
- Creating secure vestibules
- Providing air conditioning
- Expanding the middle schools in order to transition 6th graders to the buildings
- Addressing critical outdated infrastructure.
Ensuring sustainability and wellness are priorities in the plan. These include ensuring natural light and better air quality, using permeable pavers and native plants, providing restorative spaces, and creating more energy efficiencies, among others.
The District is currently working with the village to obtain stormwater and planning/zoning permits. Construction at the middle schools is projected to begin during spring break of 2024 with completion in the fall of 2025. Construction on Phase I elementary schools – Henry Puffer, Highland, Hillcrest and Whittier – will occur in the summer of 2024. Work on Phase II schools – Fairmount, Indian Trail, Kingsley and Lester – will occur in the summer of 2025 and Phase III schools – Belle Aire, El Sierra and Pierce Downer – will occur in the summer of 2026.
In the June 12, 2023 presentaiton, architects also shared details on the middle schools’ floor plan for offices, libraries, science areas, exploratory spaces (music, art and family and consumer science); gyms, locker rooms and fitness spaces; and cafeterias and kitchens. They noted that areas will be designed for flexibility.
Details and floor plans were also shared for the first phase of elementary schools (Henry Puffer, Highland, Hillcrest and Whittier). The updates include creating more secure vestibules with security check-in windows and multiple locked doors, adding air conditioning and improving air quality and repairing/improving fire alarms, intercom, signage, masonry repairs and bathrooms.
At the Board of Education meeting on April 10, 2023 Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell reported that the architects/engineers and construction manager have updated the phasing for construction for the elementary schools. The schedule is tentative and subject to change. As part of a comprehensive review, the Construction Manager reviewed the original age of construction of the school buildings and proposed renovation costs. Additional criteria included a review of the additions and when they were constructed, immediate facility needs, recent facility work completed, and the available existing air conditioning (a/c) spaces. Additionally, it was recommended to pair two large projects with two smaller ones in addition to the larger middle school projects. The updated construction phases are as follows:
- Phase 1 Construction/ Summer of 2024: Whittier, Henry Puffer, Hillcrest and Highland
- Phase 2 Construction/ Summer of 2025: Fairmount, Kingsley, Lester and Indian Trail
- Phase 3 Construction/ Summer of 2026: Pierce Downer, Belle Aire and El Sierra
*The middle school work will take place during all three phases
Dr. Russell noted that decisions were not related to political or socioeconomic reasons or the geography of the schools. He said the District will continue to take the advice of its architects and construction manager. A tentative budget for each elementary school will be presented to the Board in May. Please note that if a school is scheduled for the third summer and does not have a comprehensive a/c system, the District will work to relocate as many window units as possible in classroom settings while accounting for the electrical capacity of the school.
At the Board of Education meeting on March 13, Superintendent Kevin Russell reviewed conceptual designs to expand and improve the middle schools. He noted that these are rough, general overviews of work in the buildings and are subject to change. The conceptual drawings were developed following visioning sessions with the community and staff. Out of the visioning sessions, guiding principles were developed to execute the designs. Later this spring, after further discussions with staff and site surveys, more detailed schematic designs will be presented to the Board. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2024.
Pictured below are draft conceptual designs for Herrick and O’Neill Middle Schools. At the Board’s May 2023 meeting, members will review more detailed schematic designs of the middle school projects.
Improvements to O’Neill include adding a secure main entrance to the west, a separate student entrance where the current main entrance is, an expanded main gym that also serves as a storm shelter (thus fewer windows), new and renovated science labs and increased capacity in the kitchens. Commons areas will be located in several areas in the school to accommodate small group learning or other flexible learning.
Proposed renovations at Herrick include site improvements, increased parking, and the separation of car and bus traffic. A secure vestibule and consolidated administrative and student services offices are planned, as well as an expansion of the kitchen, gymnasium and science labs. Both libraries will be reimagined. Improving flow around the building is a priority with additional hallways and stairways.
District 58 Facility Visioning
- District 58 held two Facility Visioning Sessions on Monday, Jan. 30. One session was intended for staff, the other for community members. View the photo gallery. Both meetings followed this format:
- Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell and the District's architect and construction management team gave a District 58 Facility Visioning presentation. The presentation shared an overview of work planned, the targeted work timeline, and visual ideas for seven different topics.
- Guests participated in three 15-minute rotational feedback sessions led by District 58 administrators on the seven topics from the initial presentation. Those topics were:
- School Entrances & Offices
- Middle School Libraries
- Middle School Science Labs
- Middle School Gym/Multi-Purpose Rooms
- Core Instructional Spaces
- Middle School FACS Labs/Cafeterias
- Middle School Parking/Traffic
- Administrators shared conversation highlights with the full group.
- Following the meetings District 58 posted the Facility Visioning Session Presentation and is administering the Facility Visioning Follow-up Survey, now through Feb. 15. This survey is open to all District 58 stakeholders.
To view facility studies, demographer reports and other documents and studies that led up to the facilities referendum, please see the Historical District 58 Facility Information. Here you can view topics on:
- Citizen Task Force
- Draft Master Facility Plan Development
- Facilities and Strategic Planning
- Enrollment Trends
- Older Facility Presentations
- 10-year Life Safety Surveys
- Longfellow Center Discussions
- Other Facility Reports
This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.