Leadership Team members unveiled District 113’s study group recommendations to the Board of Education Monday night, May 21st. The recommendations were formulated by six study groups made up of more than 100 community volunteers and District 113 staff members. These participants have been analyzing Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools’ needs since May, 2011. Each study group was tasked with formulating recommendations regarding the specific topics they were studying. The Leadership Team created a master list of recommendations to be presented to the Board of Education.
The goal of the study groups was to create facilities that foster educational excellence while respecting the District’s taxpayers. Every community member who was interested in participating was given the opportunity to do so. District 113 received all of the volunteer work for free.
The presentation highlighted each study groups’ main recommendations. Below are examples of some of the recommendations presented to the Board of Education. Click here to view a complete list.
Teaching & Learning Study Group: Flexible classroom spaces should be created utilizing appropriate furniture to facilitate student engagement and collaboration. Deerfield High School library requires major attention (for example, flooding must be eliminated). Piloting and phasing in new technology is seen as prudent. Correcting ADA issues is a top priority.
Building Infrastructure Study Group: Projects must focus on function not flash. With any project, consider replacement rather than repair if more fiscally responsible. Safety and compliance issues are a priority.
1914 Buildings/PE Facilities Study Group: Facilities life should be extended for a minimum of a 25-year period. Any area that is “touched” should be done to modern standards.
Market Research Study Group: Technology is considered to be crucial to a school’s success and community wants to keep up with technology. Physical education is distinguished from and considered more important than sports programs. Community wants to renovate the 1914 buildings at Highland Park High School if it makes economic sense.
Finance Study Group: Any future projects need a second opinion on all cost estimates. District 113 should maintain its current fund balances. The District should utilize the statutory term of 20 years when borrowing money.
After analyzing both high schools’ needs, the next objective of the study groups was to prioritize them and turn the results over to an architect. It’s the architect’s
responsibility to take those recommendations and craft an overall Long Range
Facility Plan. The architects will also develop cost estimates for proposed
A tiered priority ranking was created by study group members and the Leadership Team. This pyramid featured four tiers and divided the study group recommendations into categories including: Urgent Need, Important Need, Should Have, Nice to Have. Below is a list of urgent concerns in Tier I.
Life safety concerns (ADA, code compliance)
Flexible teaching/learning spaces
Circulation/student movement in high schools
HPHS B and C Building
HPHS C Annex
Both high school pools
Sufficient number of usable PE teaching spaces
DHS PE fields
Deerfield and Highland Park High School indoor tracks
The Leadership Team recommended that the Board of Education hire a Construction Manager as soon as possible. Members emphasized how this would dramatically improve the design and implementation process as well as stick to a desired budget. The Leadership team also suggested that District 113 appoint an
oversight committee---made up of community volunteers---to work with the
architect during the design process.
The Leadership Team will discuss its recommendations with District 113’s architect, Perkins & Will, at its next meeting on June 5th.
To view the Leadership Team presentation in its entirety head to District 113’s