Richland County Community Unit 1 has a newly completed, $31.5 million addition and renovation of its Richland County High School in Olney, Ill.
Construction manager Poettker Construction Co., of Breese, and designer BLDD Architects were engaged to modernize the education facility, improve safety and security, and increase accessibility for the 2,400-plus student district, while creating a 21st Century learning environment for the students, staff, and community.
“The mission of the school district is to create a partnership with families to ensure a safe and engaging learning environment that provides students with opportunities for academic success, career readiness and life-long learning,” said Chris Simpson, superintendent of Richland County High School. “Our community is excited for the completion of this project by Poettker and BLDD Architects that will bring a modern learning environment to our student.”
The renovation of Richland County High School included demolition of an aging auditorium and classroom areas; a new single main entrance for enhanced safety and security; major accessibility, architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades; and installation of a new fire sprinkler and alarm system. A new wing was constructed utilizing precast concrete and features a new auditorium, fine arts theater, cafeteria, kitchen, common areas, and an auxiliary gymnasium.
“Richland County has been a great teammate to work with from the beginning to the end of this project, both from a school and community standpoint,” said Jon Carroll, vice president project management for Poettker Construction. “We are proud of the project’s success and look forward to continuing our great relationship with Richland County into the future.”
Richland County Community Unit 1 conducted district facility studies and community engagement sessions over a 2-year duration to determine the best long-range plan. The addition and renovation of the nearly 70-year-old campus was implemented in a multi-phase, 18-month schedule to minimize the impact on students and maximize construction activities during the summers and extended breaks.
Photos of the facility’s exterior (top) and updated interior.