When all is said and done, nearly 100 people will help guide the design plans for the expansion project.
leaders hope to have a committee in place by October consisting of the Concept 3 Architects design team, District 115 school board members, and Yorkville High School department chairs and staff. Added to the mix will be 20 students, five from each grade level, five parents from the high school, two parents from each of the other district’s school buildings, and at least 10 non-parents from the community.
“This steering group is really going to be talking about the needs of the school,” Superintendent Scott Wakeley said. “There’s a fine line you walk. We want something that is usable currently but also designed in a way that will support 21st century learning.”
In September, school officials will meet with a smaller advisory group consisting of administrators and department chairs to talk about the expansion.
"The board has seen some preliminary plans from different architects which gave us some general ideas of some things they could do," Wakeley said. "We have some obvious space issues in terms of the number of classrooms and the building’s infrastructure. The stairwells were built for 900 and we’re packing 1,200 in them.”
Wakeley hopes that after the October steering group meeting, he can present a design draft to school board members by the Oct. 15 meeting and have an approved design concept by the Oct. 22 meeting.
School officials would like to be able to fund the first part of the project, which would cover the addition of classrooms. The other phases include eventually adding a fieldhouse and an auditorium to the school.
“But our primary need is dealing with that academic core,” Wakeley said. “We’re hopeful that by using our own reserves and the construction grant money from the state that we have yet to receive but told we’re getting, we’ll be able to pay for the first phase without going to the taxpayers.”
He said the auditorium and fieldhouse would likely require taxpayer support.
“And that’s not something the board is interested in doing now,” Wakeley said. “We have enough to do right now with the core academic area.”