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Bolingbrook High School
Wight & Company
Project of Distinction Winner 2006 Education Design Showcase

Project Fact Sheet
Facility Use: K-12 High
Project Type: New Construction
Category: Whole Building/Campus Design
Location: Bolingbrook, IL
District/Inst.: Valley View Community Unit School District
   Dr. Phillip W. Schoffstall Superintendent
Completion Date: August 2004
Design Capacity: 3,600 students
Enrollment: 3,100 students
Gross Area: 568,700 sq.ft.
Space per pupil: 158 sq.ft.
Site size: 70 acres
Cost per student: $28,562
Cost per sq.ft.: $181.00
Total project cost: $103,322,000
Building construction cost: $77,124,200
Site purchase cost: $6,500,000
Site development cost: $6,285,860
Furniture & equipment cost: $5,950,910
Fees and other: $7,460,580
View Area Map

In 2001, Valley View Public Schools had a student population of over 13,700 and maintained two aging high schools that served student populations from Bolingbrook and Romeoville - both high growth towns.  The district boundaries included Interstate 55 that physically separated the towns.  Due to the number of students living within Bolingbrook, a large portion of the District’s students crossed Interstate 55 daily to attend the less crowded Romeoville High School.  In addition, long-term residential growth was projected to continue and place continuing pressure on student capacity of each school.

As a result of these challenges, the District and Wight developed a master plan to redevelop the District’s schools and attendanceboundaries to allow all high school students the opportunity to attend their hometown school, as well as accommodate future growthwithin the District.  The new Bolingbrook High School presented was part of a $143.2M referendum package that was approved byvoters on March 19, 2002 with a 67% YES vote.

Schedule Challenge:
  An overall objective of the plan was to have all students move for the 2004-2005 school year.  This required theopening of the new 562,000 square foot high school just 29 months after referendum passage.
Program Challenge:  A building program was established to house approximately 3,500 – 3,600 students.  While the District wasconcerned about the number of students and the physical size of the school, they also required an educational environment that couldaccommodate current and future curriculum in a setting that would not overwhelm students.
Site Challenge:  The 70 acre site contained a small creek, 100-year floodway, natural wetlands, a residential building and a nearly 28-footgrade change across the site.  Significant portions of the site were needed for detention, floodway and protection of wetlands.  Flatportions of the site were needed for athletic fields and surface parking.

The new school is structured into two academic houses that contain separate, distributed administrative and student service teams forthe students of each house.  This “school-within-a-school” concept was a key component of the design of the building.  The houses takeadvantage of site topography by placing the lower floor of the two houses on different floors, thus distributing the students across three,rather than two, levels.  The houses, and the centrally located library, are connected with a naturally lit concourse that brings daylightinto all levels of the school and connects the fine arts and athletics wings.  Located between the two academic wings, and just outsidethe library, is an outdoor amphitheater landscaped to support an array of activities including gatherings, performances, leisure, andoutdoor learning.

The school is organized in five distinct wings. The “A” wing contains fine arts and performing arts. The “B” and “D” wings contain theacademic houses. Administration and the library are housed in the “C” wing, and the cafeteria and athletics in the “E” wing.  Within thehouses the general classrooms have been structured to serve all core curriculum areas while departmental offices provide workspace fordepartmental planning, resources, conferences and storage.  Each house contains a centrally located student commons to provide amore casual, flexible environment for the students to gather outside of the classroom, encourage interaction, promote social growth and provide space for small group projects.  The fine arts and PE/athletics wings located at either end of the main concourse are locatedfor functional and site considerations.  The field house is partially buried in the site’s high point to reduce scale and manage sitedevelopment costs.  The fine arts wing, including a 910-seat auditorium, is positioned on the north side of the site to take advantage ofindirect, natural light for display of student work.

The three-level steel, masonry and precast concrete structure has been designed with a special sensitivity to human scale.  Theapplication of multiple masonry products, horizontal banding, texture and color was carefully detailed and proportioned to make theuser feel comfortable and welcome within and around the building.  The interior color palette of earth tones was selected to emphasizethe environmental components and connection to nature.

Sustainable design was a key feature of the project.  Several sustainable “green” design features have been incorporated from the sitedevelopment to building systems.  Recently, Bolingbrook High School became the first LEED Certified School in Illinois and the thirdhigh school in the United States.

The team created a site master plan and architectural design that accomplishes the program goals while minimizing the impact on thenatural site terrain.  In developing the building layout, the design team took advantage of the extremely challenging size and utilized thenatural features to help address the District’s size concerns.  The three-level school cascades down the 28-foot grade change to minimizethe number of students across each level of the school.  Mass grading and earthwork were optimized to effectively balance the site andvirtually negate the need to remove soil for off site disposal.  The site development solution includes bio-swales to filter impurities fromsurface water runoff, a well irrigation system for athletic fields, and indigenous plantings.

A fully automated digital control system allows for automatic control of HVAC systems. All equipment will be turned on/off via a time schedule set according to the projected use of the different areas.  To optimize large energy savings, fans will not run unless scheduledand sensors are digitally programmed between 68 and 74 degrees.  A condensate recovery system is projected to save 360,000 gallonsof water annually collects and reuses water from the rooftop chillers.  Fan powered boxes, in the forced air distribution system, arelocated above corridors in lieu of classrooms to reduce classroom noise.

A fully automated lighting control system allows operational efficiency of all lighting.  Lights, equipped with override switches, willautomatically be turned on/off via a programmed schedule before school starts and will turn them off after school.  Lights in the upperlevels of the main concourse are equipped with daylight harvesting sensors.  On sunny days, the electric light output will be reducedand natural light will takeover.

A minimum of 25 percent of the building materials contain recycled content including structural steel, acoustical ceiling tile, acousticalceiling panels, carpet, sports flooring, ceramic tile, and toilet partitions.

Each instructional space has access to direct and wireless network connections, a video monitor and access to a video distribution knownas an MATV system.  Many spaces also have projection capabilities.  Central digital media is stored on a digital server with distributionthroughout the school via cabling, to a television monitor and/or projector in each instructional space.  Analog media is also availablethrough central distribution or local inputs.  Each classroom is complete with 10 data/voice jacks allocated between the “teacher’sstation” and “student stations.”   In addition, wireless access to the local network is available anywhere in the building.  A forum room ineach house functions as a “high tech” instructional space that can be used for larger class needs and can be shared by all departments. 

Both passive and active principles of security, recognized in the industry as “Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design” orCPTED, were used in laying out spaces in the building and site design.  Examples of some of these principles include: stairwells withoutside windows, administration areas with visual “access” to , student commons, toilet room entrances, student cafeteria layout, andlandscape areas.  The active security system consists of three components:  closed circuit television, access control and a burglar alarm.

Due to the schedule of the overall program and the unique pressures resulting from the desire to have all students move at the sametime, the District partnered with Wight to deliver the work in a unparalleled design-build delivery method that was tailored to thespecific bidding requirements for public school procurement.

Following approximately 12 months of early planning and design work, the referendum passed in March 2002.  Within seven days theDistrict had sold bonds for the project based on the detailed estimates and schedules provided by Wight.  Within 45 days a GuaranteedMaximum Price Design-Build Contract was in place and earthwork commenced 60 days after passage of the referendum.  The buildingwas construction in phases under a fast-track format organized by the wings of the building.  The Owner started moving in the firstareas complete in the spring of 2004 as final areas were being completed.

The school has become a shining light in the Bolingbrook community.  Wide praise has been bestowed upon the facility by local politicians, parents, students and regional news organizations.  The project was even mentioned in the Mayor’s recent State Of TheVillage address.


Project Description:
1) Control of Institution: Public


Methodology & Standards:
District/Institution Decision; Life-cycle Costs

Funding Method(s):
Alternative Sources: Secondary: Other (Property Tax Referendum); Secondary: Grants and Donations (Property Tax Referendum)

Project Delivery Method(s):

Sustainable/Green Design:
Principles Followed: LEED
Certifications Obtained: LEED Certified
Site Selection and Development: Site Selection; Building Orientation
Water Conservation: Water Conservation
Energy Efficiency and Conservation: Energy Efficiency; Building Automation/Energy Management Systems
Materials Use: Sustainable Materials Selection
Indoor Environmental Quality: Use of Daylighting; Acoustics; Indoor Air Quality
Commissioning: Building/systems have been commissioned


Associated Firms and Consultants:
Educational Planning: Franklin Hill & Associates
Interior Design: Wight & Company
Landscape Architecture: Lori McCall, ASLA/Planning Resources
Construction/Project Management: Wight Construction
Structural Engineer: Larson Engineering of Illinois
Electrical Engineer: WMA Consulting Engineers
Mechanical Engineer: WMA Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineer: Wight & Company
Acoustical Consultant: SSOC Inc.
Technology Consultant: Bridger
Safety Consultant: Wight Construction
Laboratory Consultant: Harry J. Kloeppel & Associates
Food Service/Kitchen Consultant: TJG Group Inc.
Other: Duff Athletic Design (Athletic Consultant)

Area Map:

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