On Wednesday night the LPHS Board of Education awarded the contract for window replacements to Krull Window Company of Oak Lawn. This $2.5 million project to replace approximately 680 windows around the main building is the first key piece of the renovation project to be awarded.
Architect Mike Kmetz told the board that by selecting an alternative bid the project will cost more than $300,000 less than the original base bid. He explained that in the alternative bid a small historical detail of a slight taper at the top of the windows will be removed, instead leaving the windows square at the top as they are in currently. Still, the vinyl fillers at the top of the existing windows will be replaced with glass, resulting in windows that are closer to the original window designs than they have been for many decades. This balance of preserving historical architectural accuracy while being good stewards of the district’s budget is a major consideration throughout the project.
“As cool as it would be and as awesome as it would be to have that done with all the windows we know that makes a big difference,” Kmetz said referring to the added cost of the historical detail.
Work to replace the windows will begin this summer, trailing behind masonry tuckpointing and window abatement of asbestos and lead materials that will be bid later this semester. The majority of the window replacement is expected to be completed over the summer with the original 1927 wing (the easternmost wing of the main building, including the auditorium) will be completed last, explained construction manager Josh Warriner of Pepper Construction.
The next piece of the project expected to go out for bid is the window treatments.
The current and future students of LPHS are incredibly important stakeholders in our district and we are committed to ensuring they have a voice in the renovation process. Recently, Mr. Wrobleski and Mr. Baker met with members of the LP Yearbook crew to discuss upcoming renovation projects and to hear their feedback on interior renovation ideas. Future opportunities for students to discuss the renovations are being planned now.
On Thursday, LP junior Alexa Dawson met with the renovation team to advocate for the inclusion of single-user bathrooms in the renovation design. She was able to make strong arguments for how single-user bathrooms in the school building would be able to provide greater privacy, comfort, and accessiblity for students, staff, and visitors of all ages, gender, and ability levels. While the architecture team hasn't quite reached that point of design yet, Dawson's suggestions will certainly be considered as the team prepares the schematic designs.
Our architectural team (Legat Architects and Kmetz Architects) met with nearly 40 percent of the LP faculty and staff this week to begin honing the vision of the renovation design. Using a design charrette process, the architects broke the LP team into small groups to collaborate on ideas for how to layout LP's classrooms, offices, cafeteria, and other spaces within the existing structure of the building. Our goals in the renovation project include improving STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) facilities, provide better work/learn spaces for our students and faculty, and provide an overall more accessible and welcoming architectural design within our existing historical framework.
The architects will now reflect on the various ideas developed by the LP team to create a conceptual plan in late winter/early spring for the renovation work. The conceptual plan will then be honed and lead to a more detailed schematic design and eventually will form the design used for the construction documents used to renovate our campus.
Fun Fact: The word charrette is French for "cart" or "chariot." Its use in the sense of design and planning arose in the 19th century at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where it was not unusual at the end of a term for teams of student architects to work right up until a deadline, when a charrette would be wheeled among them to collect up their scale models and other work for review. Their continued working furiously to apply the finishing touches came to be referred to as working en charrette, "in the cart." (Source)
We hosted our first Community Update Meeting last night.
During the presentation, Superintendent Steve Wrobleski along with architects Mike Kmetz and Robin Randall, abatement specialist Brad Brown, and construction project manager Rob Martinelli, discussed the work that has been taking place over the past couple of months as well as what's on the horizon. The District is currently in the process of releasing bid documents for the window replacement project. That project along with tuckpointing and roofing repairs is expected to begin shortly after the current school year ends. In the meantime, our architectural team is busy developing the conceptual plans for the interior renovations.
On January 18, 2017, the Pepper Construction aerial drone flew over LPHS to capture images of masonry and hard to reach spots of the building in preparation for renovation work.