• Photos of the high school High School North, 653 Westerly Parkway
    Size: 258,238 sq.ft. on 42 acres
    Enrollment: grades 11-12, 1246 students in 2012
    Year Built: Groundbreaking 1955, Dedication 1957
    Additions: 1965, 1989, 1999
     
    
In 1957, Westerly Parkway was a dead-end street that stopped at the building, with the main entrance to the building on Logan Avenue. The boilers were coal fired and the heating system consisted of steam fed unit-ventilators. The original boilers have been replaced, but the original steam piping and unit-ventilators remain.

    Twenty-four years ago (1989), the Natatorium and main gym were added to the North Building. Small classroom wings were added to both buildings thirteen years ago. While these additions added capacity, core facilities like the libraries, auditoriums, and cafeterias remained their original size. When additions were constructed, the major mechanical and electrical systems were left intact, the building has never had a comprehensive renovation.
    (left: hallways are crowded during class change, library stacks are not ADA compliant)
     
    Some of the issues that need to be addressed:
    • The temperature control system is outdated and offers poor control over the building’s heat. The unit-ventilators, which deliver heat and fresh air to the classrooms, are outdated and repair parts are generally not available. The majority of the HVAC infrastructure and piping is original to the building.
    • Many of the doors in the building need to be replaced.
    • Only a few selected areas in the building are air-conditioned.
    • The electrical system includes many old and outdated components. The demand for electric in the building exceeds the capacity of the distribution system and many needs are left unfulfilled.
    • The fire alarm system is fully operational and tested regularly; however, it is nearing the end of its useful life and a planned replacement is needed.
    • Much of the building's lighting system is antiquated and not energy efficient.
    • The windows are original to the building and many are single-pane. Not only have they deteriorated over their many years of use, but they also waste large amounts of energy compared to modern windows.
    • The agriculture, building trades, and automotive shops are separated from the main building and in need of upgrades to meet today’s curriculum.
    • The music program does not have appropriate practice rooms.
    • The library was sized for the original building. Three major additions have occurred without a library expansion leaving it undersized and only partially handicapped accessible.
    • The cafeteria was sized for the original building. Three major additions have occurred without a cafeteria expansion, leaving it undersized. During the spring and fall an exterior courtyard is used for overflow, but this is problematic during the winter months.
    • Areas under the auditorium, formerly used for music and theater storage, have been abandoned due to flooding, leaving storage space at a premium.
    • Due the various additions, the main office is no longer located where most visitors enter the building.
    • The original fixtures in all of the bathrooms require replacement due to age. Additionally the bathrooms are generally not handicapped accessible, which extends beyond the fixtures and poses challenges in regard to the configuration of the rooms themselves.
    • Many parts of the building do not meet current ADA standards.


    PHotos of High School South High School South, 650 Westerly Parkway
     
    Size: 191,280 sq.ft. on 38 acres
    Enrollment: grades 9-10, 1247 students in 2012
    Year Built: 1962
    Additions: 1965, 1999

    South High School was originally built in 1962. The original portion of the building is the “front” of the building. This part of the building is single story and includes classrooms along with the auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria and main office area.
     
    In 1965 an addition was constructed, which is also single story, but due to grade changes on the site it operates as a second level. This addition includes classrooms, library and fitness center. An additional classroom wing was constructed in 1999. Some aspects of the Career and Technical Center program are also included in the South High School. While these additions added capacity, core facilities like the libraries, auditoriums, and cafeterias remained their original size and the major mechanical and electrical systems were left intact. The South building was originally constructed as a junior high school. Continued growth in the region demanded building of Park Forest Middle School (1967) and the conversion of the North and South into a High School Campus.
    (Left: inaccessible and dangerous stairway, auditorium seats in need of replacement)  
     
    General Campus Conditions:
    Many of the classrooms in both buildings are undersized. Science labs are outdated and need to be enlarged. There is a lack of planning and small group areas. There are safety concerns regarding multiple entries/exits, after-hour access to the building, and layout makes it difficult to supervise and monitor. Both schools were constructed based on the educational programs and organizational structures of the 1950s. These buildings are pre-OPEC (energy conservation), pre-ADA (handicapped accessibility), pre-technology (advent of the personal computer) and pre-current programs and services (team teaching, advances in science, small learning communities, etc). 
     
    Some of the issues that need to be addressed:
    • Both buildings are utilizing the original hot water/steam heating systems, both of which are over 50 years old. These systems are well past their expected lifespan
    • The temperature control system is outdated and offers poor control over the building’s heat. The unit-ventilators, which deliver heat and fresh air to the classrooms, are outdated and repair parts are generally not available.
    • Eight rooms, which have no windows, are air-conditioned by a small chiller, but the remainder of the building is generally not air-conditioned.
    • Eight other classrooms on the lower level have no windows, nor are they equipped with air-conditioning, fresh air is delivered through vents on the roof.
    • The electrical system includes many old and outdated components.
    • The emergency generators are operational and tested weekly; however, they are nearing the end of their useful life and a planned replacement is needed.
    • The windows are original to the building and many are single pane. Not only have they deteriorated over their many years of use, but they also waste large amounts of energy compared to modern windows.
    • While much of the building is single-story and an elevator is available for access to the second level, many parts of the building make accessibility a challenge.
    • Original seats in the auditorium are more than 55 years old.
     
    From the 2009 Facility Assessment by DeJong:

    The North and South buildings had facility condition ratings of 59% and 57% respectively.  The building condition rating suggests that the buildings should receive a major renovation.
     
    
The overall layout and organization of the building raises significant concerns regarding the ability of the existing structures to support current and evolving educational trends at the high school level. 
Last Modified on November 13, 2013