By KATE GENO
Holland Construction Services is building a new $22.6 million senior high school for Wesclin Community Unit School District 3 in Clinton County.
The current junior/senior high school does not have capacity for the existing student population and the district has been renting classroom space around the community. The future 120,000-square-foot school will accommodate ninth through 12th graders from Trenton and New Baden and allow for future growth of the student body. The school site is located on Wesclin Road and Illinois Route 160, on 40 acres of land to the west of the existing school.
According to HCS project manager Fred Dintelman, earthwork began in September 2012 and the foundation work and construction began in April 2013. The high school will be complete in June 2014 for the opening of the 2014-2015 school year.
Designed by FGM Architects, the one-story building’s exterior is made of painted concrete tilt-up panels, brick inlay and structural steel components. The locker room, industrial arts and agriculture departments will be built with concrete masonry units. Many windows will be installed throughout the school, says Dintelman, to give an open, airy feel and also for energy efficiency.
The center of the new school will feature a multi-level “cafetorium” for theater productions and school presentations. A competitive gymnasium will hold approximately 1,600 people, he says.
Several different wings will be devoted to departments; included in these subject areas are band and music, agriculture, wood shop and industrial arts, family and consumer science and art. The general classroom wing will consist of 14 classrooms, three science labs and a media center. Another wing will house the high school faculty offices and the Wesclin School District offices.
FGM Architects also designed several outdoor gathering areas for the students, Dintelman said. A main plaza will be located right outside the entrance to the school, a sports plaza outside the gymnasium and a terraced area next to the media center.
Plans call for HCS to upgrade the existing track and football stadium. The new track will have an all-weather surface and the football stadium will receive new aluminum bleachers and a new press box.