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Spotlight on Southwestern Illinois Engineering and Architecture

FGM Architects, new Wesclin High School, Trenton

By JENNIFER K. HASAMEAR
P16 WesclinHighSchoolThe new Wesclin High School, Trenton    The new Wesclin Community Unit School District 3 High School in Trenton opened its doors this year after several years of planning, design and construction.
    After much anticipation, the Wesclin Unit School District community is thrilled with the new school, Superintendent Jennifer Filyaw said.
    “With the cooperation of everyone working on this project, we have a facility that will be the pride of our district for many years.  Everyone’s commitment to our school district is the reason this facility became a reality,” Filyaw said.
    The 120,924-square-foot , $23 million high school features a state-of-the-art media center, a multipurpose cafetorium, natural daylighting in all classrooms, a 1980-seat gymnasium, three full basketball courts, an outdoor learning classroom, four science labs, computer labs, art and graphic labs, agriculture and wood shops and administration spaces. The entire school also has Wi-Fi capability.
    The new high school is designed to accommodate 650 students with future expansion to support 900 students. The building’s programmed spaces are organized into six main categories: the welcome center, core academics, supplementary areas, food service, building support and district administration. A front drive for bus drop-off at the main entrance area enhances safety. Some 250 student parking spaces and 150 staff spaces are located between the new school and the existing football stadium to provide additional event parking. The stadium includes an all-weather track and 1,250 bleacher seats. There are also existing playfields for practice football, softball, baseball, soccer and
practice soccer.
    “After presenting ideas and concepts to the School Board, discussions about the future of education and the value and cost of the building, we were able to come up with the concept you see today,” said August Battaglia of FGM Architects, who served as the project’s design director. “Through the heart of the school, you have the mind (the media center), the spirit (the cafetorium) and the body (the gymnasium). Flexibility and adaptability were also designed into the building with the idea for future expansion.” 
    FGM Architects and Holland Construction, the construction manager, donated 16 Red Sunset Maple trees to enhance the school’s landscape. Eight trees have been planted at the bus drop-off while another eight trees have been planted at the Sports Plaza.