New look at Shepard High School
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com August 25, 2013 9:19PM
An artist rendering shows some of the renovations at Shepard High School in Palos Heights. | Supplied image
Updated: September 27, 2013 6:17AM
When students returned to classes last week in Community High School District 218, their schools weren’t the same as when they left them in June.
Shepard High School students will continue to dodge construction workers, as work continues on the main entrance and a new science wing, but they saw two renovated art classrooms, new administrative offices and 60 more parking spaces that were completed over the summer as the first of a three-phase improvement project.
There is a remodeled Learning Resource Center at Eisenhower and eight new tennis courts at Richards.
While students enjoyed a summer break, there was no time off for those who were sprucing up the schools.
Most of the work is being done at Shepard — to the tune of $13 million — where a new two-story, 12-room science wing is under construction and expected to be completed in March in the final phase of the project.
The second phase is a new main entrance on the west side of the school and a new corridor to relieve congestion and connect the main entrance to the new science wing on the south end of the high school — adding a total of 33,000 square feet.
The main entrance and new corridor should be ready in a “few weeks,” district spokesman Bob McParland said.
For now, parents and visitors will need to use Door 20 on the north side as the main entrance. Shepard is the last of the district’s schools to get new science labs.
The district’s other science labs were updated in recent years, but Shepard, built in 1976, had its original labs, McParland said.
Upgrades at Eisenhower and Richards totaled $2.25 million, McParland said.
The chiller broke at Eisenhower this summer, calling for a new energy-efficient air conditioning system, which will cut the school’s ComEd bill in half, he said. Insurance also paid $150,000 toward the new system.
The $400,000 upgrade in the Learning Resource Center included new carpeting, paint, window treatments, a glass entrance and construction of four breakout rooms for study groups and teacher meetings.
New univents were installed at Eisenhower and Richards, allowing teachers to control the temperature in individual classrooms, McParland said.