The architecture, engineering and construction management professionals at Wight & Company are shifting into high gear. As the school year drew to a close, the firm’s PK-12 team celebrated groundbreakings on four different campus building projects in the Chicago region.
In the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s far west side, Wight’s team used sledgehammers to kick off a major performing arts center renovation project for client Catalyst Circle Rock. This K-8 charter school partners with local non-profit organizations, including the Chicago Children’s Choir and Ravinia Festival, to provide a fine arts enrichment program for students. Wight’s assignment is to transform an auditorium that has been mothballed since 1973 into the new Kehrein Center for The Arts. The new space will seat 1,000 for performances by student groups, including the largest African American elementary school orchestra in the U.S. The building is slated for completion in late 2018.
On Chicago’s south side, Wight joined with students and officials at De La Salle Institute to celebrate the launch of an athletic field renovation project, scheduled for completion in August 2018. Located three blocks from U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, De La Salle Institute is operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago. Wight will design and provide construction management services to create a multi-purpose turf field and spectator seating for this historic Catholic high school.
Another groundbreaking took place for an addition at Downers Grove Grade School District 58’s Lester School in Chicago’s western suburbs. The addition will create three classrooms, ADA-compliant bathrooms and a flexible resource space at the elementary school, which has been at capacity for several years. The project is slated for completion in time for the 2018-2019 school year.
Finally, the renovation of Hadley Junior High School for Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 will provide much-needed additional classroom space for music programs and flexible learning spaces. The district has accommodated overflow by using portable classrooms for many years. The expanded school will open its doors to students for the 2019-2020 school year.
“A hallmark of our work over the last decade has been enhancing the learning environment for students,” said Bradley Paulsen, Wight’s senior vice president/strategy and development, who leads many of the firm’s PK-12 projects. “These four projects, similar to those of the over 150 education projects we have been involved in across northern Illinois, will enhance the student experience through spaces for the performing arts, much needed classrooms and athletic spaces. We’re excited to be making a positive impact on such a diverse set of communities, and we know that students, families and neighborhoods will benefit from them.”