The $13.98 million work for a fine arts wing at Homewood-Flossmoor High School is nearing completion.
The project to construct new rooms for the music department, a black box theater space for the theater program and converting space for the fine arts started in summer 2019.
Exterior signs on the north side of the building will be installed soon, and final touch-up work is being done.
Ed Wright and Ryan Kelly of DLA Ltd. Architects, the lead architects on the project, told the District 233 Finance Committee Nov. 10 that several unforeseen changes needed to be made, but overall work has gone smoothly.
When work began to convert the former music rooms into uses for the fine arts, a column in the hallway that needed to be moved required several steps. Wright said the column did not show on old architectural drawings. Apparently it was supposed to have been moved previously, but instead got covered over.
For this project, the column had to be moved, and a new column installed, but the soil conditions weren’t good, so the contractor had to make adjustments, Kelly said. It also required reworking a door into a room.
“We inherited a problem, but ended up with a much better product,” Wright said.
In one art room, sinks were added and additional electrical outlets and lines for data transfer. These changes add flexibility to the space, Wright said. In one area, additional heating and air conditioning vents were added, and as carpeting was being laid, a decision was made to extend it through a hallway.
The wood-finished lockers from the old music wing were saved, refurbished for $3,800 and moved to the new music wing. Wright said the cost would have been $80,000 to replace the lockers.
Overall, the change orders will add approximately $290,000 to the total cost. Wright said that is about 2.1% of the overall bid and “for a project this size, 2.1% is pretty successful under the scope and complexity of this project.”
Steve Anderson, school board president, said because of the COVID-19 numbers, he couldn’t say when the official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held.