Huntley High School expansion to take 2 years

Work at Huntley High to happen in stages during school year, summers

HUNTLEY – Beginning in the spring, Huntley High School students on their way to class will be navigating past construction crews and renovation work for the next two years as school expands.

Huntley District 158 officials recently have set the two-year construction timetable to expand the school after construction concluded in August on a $3.64 million renovation of the school’s football stadium and athletic fields.

District board members don’t yet have a sense of what additions will come first during construction, which will happen in stages throughout the school year and quieter summer months.

The board likely will make those decisions in the coming months as the district eyes April for initial construction work to begin. A list of features, including a new fieldhouse, more classroom space and a larger library, will guide the forthcoming design plan of the roughly $29 million construction project.

“Once the detailed design is in place, then we can set the marching orders – what comes first, what comes last,” board President Don Drzal said.

The design should come sooner rather than later. During a meeting Thursday, the board unanimously selected Elgin-based Lamp Inc. to manage the renovation.

Lamp, which oversaw the school’s athletic work this summer, will help create designs with the project’s architects and guide the project to completion in 2016.

A planning group of teachers and administrators will update the board in November on when certain additions will be constructed, Drzal said. Members would expect to see a detailed design plan sometime after that meeting, with decisions on construction contracts coming in early 2014.

But district administrators already are preparing for the work to be far more complex and pricier than the construction already completed.

In April, construction crews will begin initial work that includes new parking spaces for students and staff, since many of the school’s existing lots are slated for building additions, said Doug Renkosik, district director of operations and maintenance.

“We always try to do as much as possible in the summer to limit disruption to the school day activity; however, this is just too big of a project to keep it to that small of a scale,” Renkosik said. “We are going to be working on-site all school year.”

The expansion, officials have said, is needed to accommodate the 3,000 students expected to attend by 2019. The district is using a $39 million grant from the state to pay for the project.

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