Construction continues without delay

Despite a stay at home order, construction on West’s new wing has continued as scheduled


McHenry High School

Construction workers smooth concrete floors for the first floor of the new extension at West Campus on April 10. Construction remains on schedule despite school being closed for the remainder of the school year.

Emma Snyder, Staff Writer

With construction and trade still being deemed essential, the COVID-19 pandemic has not delayed the construction of the Center for Science, Technology, and Industry, the new extension at West Campus. It is still scheduled to open in January 2021.

“The shell is almost complete with the remaining steel for section B, closest to the bus lane, going up this week,” said Carl Vallianatos, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. “Over the past few weeks, our crews poured most of the concrete floors in section A.”

The steel frame and masonry block walls are scheduled to be completed by the end of May, along with having the concrete floors poured. Over the summer, work will begin on the interior of the structure, mechanical systems, and connecting the new extension to the existing building.

Work on the mechanical systems at West campus this summer will include replacing the majority of existing classroom unit ventilators, air handlers, chillers, interior/exterior lighting (LED) and adding a new building automation system (BAS).

“The new building automation system would link all mechanical systems in the new extension with the existing building at West Campus increasing overall efficiency, climate control, and annual energy savings,” said Ryan McTague, Superintendent McHenry District 156. “We are excited that over 90 percent of our mechanical infrastructure in the district will be replaced or upgraded before our campus transition in the Fall of 2021.”

Phase I of the McCraken Feild Improvement Plan will also happen over the summer. This includes fixing the standing water and drainage on the football practice field behind the home bleachers and paving the areas behind the bleachers, around the concession stand, and visitor pathways.

“We are also looking at the possibility of replacing the 60-year-old stadium lighting [at McCracken],” said McTague.

As well as the progress on the construction of the extension, planning has continued for the interior of the building. This includes getting, proposals, and pricing for furniture that will go into classrooms, offices, breakout spaces, and extended learning environments (ELEs).

“ELEs are common area spaces that are comfortable for students to sit, relax, collaborate, and learn together,” said Vallianatos. “The new building will have a plethora of these spaces.”

Despite all the recent changes and cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction on the new extension at West campus and all other projects to prepare for the building transition in the fall of 2021 is scheduled to proceed as normal.