H-F High's fine arts additions work expected to meet construction targets

Walls are going up on the Homewood-Flossmoor High School fine arts addition south of the Mall Theatre. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)
Walls are going up on the Homewood-Flossmoor
High School fine arts addition south of the Mall
(Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Contractors working on two additions at Homewood-Flossmoor High School have had some challenges, but progress is expected to meet construction targets, according to Ed Wright of DLA Architects, who is overseeing the project.

Crews from Cosgrove Construction got the project started around July 1. The District 233 Board of Education held an official groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 1.
The $13.98 million project is adding two fine arts wings to the South Building and interior spaces will be remodeled for the new MVP (Music, Visual and Performing Arts) Program. The additions will allow all arts programs to be in one wing of the high school.
A closep-up look at partially completed walls for the fine arts addition at Homewood-Flossmoor High School.
  A close-up look at partially
  completed walls for the fine
  arts addition at Homewood-
  Flossmoor High School.


The costs are covered by money in the district’s reserve fund.

Wright told the Chronicle that soil borings on the north side of the Mall Auditorium were poor and required digging deeper to hit soil strong enough for building capacity. 

There also was an unexpected wait time for relocation of a Nicor gas line that slowed work on the theater space.  In addition, “some of the existing conditions of piping below grade were not as planned,” Wright noted.
“Regardless of all of that, we are finally complete with the below grade work in the north side and you will start to see substantial progress in the coming weeks,” Wright said via email.
“Now that the below grade work is done on the north side and specialty block on the south side arrived on last Friday,” he said. “The mason will be significantly increasing the crew sizes and the work will advance very quickly. Steel joist are already on site and the roof will quickly follow.”
The plan was to have the additions under roof by winter so crews could work indoors through the cold weather. Wright said that calendar is still feasible. 
“We are targeting to be under roof for both parts of the project by the first or second week of December to minimize the winter conditions. That has been the contractors’ original schedule and they believe we are very close to being on target. Last week’s snow was not helpful and we are monitoring progress closely,” Wright explained. 
“The quality of work has been very good,” he added, “and we appear to be almost clear of the major hurdle of below grade conditions and weather.” 
Despite the delays and extra expenses related to the soil and utility work, Wright said he doesn’t anticipate the project running into any serious cost overruns.

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