The $23-million renovation and expansion of Lincoln Elementary School in Cicero, Ill., was driven by a schedule that called for construction of an adjoining 71,000-sq-ft addition during the school year and extensive rehabilitation of the existing 63,000-sq-ft structure—including new mechanical, lighting, data and fire sprinkler systems—the following summer. All this was done so both facilities would be ready for occupancy by the start of the next school year.
The addition aesthetically unites the historic architecture of the original 1930s school building and a more contemporary addition completed in 1952, with scale and massing relating to the traditional bungalow-style architecture of the surrounding community.
Because the addition was to rise during the school year, the contractor developed a site logistics plan to ensure the safety of all students and staff members before breaking ground on the facility.
Later renovation work also presented unique challenges. In addition to the discovery of unsuitable soils, a labor strike compressed the schedule to just six weeks, prompting the contractor to schedule double and weekend shifts. During that period, 17 classrooms were completely gutted and rehabbed, while asbestos abatement was performed throughout the facility. Mechanical renovations included a new air-conditioning system and significant upgrades to an antiquated boiler-fed, heat-only system.
Toward the close of the project, trade workers and crews worked around the clock to make up for lost time incurred because of weather and the labor dispute. As scheduled, the school opened the first week in September.
The addition of a cafeteria, dedicated art and music rooms, and a district-wide training room has eliminated the need for students to sit on corridor floors between classes because of overcrowding. As an added benefit, the school now houses space dedicated to special education.
What's more, electronic "smart" boards are located in each of the 41 classrooms and in all teaching spaces, a first for this suburban Chicago school district.
Developer/Owner: Cicero School District 99, Cicero, Ill.
GC/CM: International Contractors Inc., Elmhurst, Ill.
Architect: FGM Architects, Oak Brook, Ill.
Structural Engineer: C.E. Anderson & Associates, Chicago
M/E/P Engineer: Amsco Engineering Inc., Downers Grove, Ill.
Submitted by: International Contractors Inc.
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