The Proviso School District 209 Board of Education will select an architecture firm at its March 14 meeting to draft a “Master Facilities Plan” for the entire three-school district.
The project, which could cost up to $80,000 and take about six months to complete, will be well worth the investment, District Supt. Jesse Rodriguez said March 3. Right now, the district does not have a comprehensive long-term roadmap for its facilities. Instead, D209 uses a “Capital Construction List.”
The motivation for commissioning a Master Facilities Plan, Rodriguez said, is to give the district a better, more holistic vision for the next 5-10 years and integrate space utilization, curriculum needs, new technological integration, enrollment projections and necessary facility upgrades into one comprehensive document.
“Our district spent many years not addressing the capital needs of our buildings. We are starting the process,” Rodriguez said. “There’s a lot to be done.”
The school board will decide between three firms: Fanning Howey, Perkins+Will, and ARCON. Each firm made their pitch at a special meeting on Feb 21. The presentations, Rodriguez said, were graded by board members on a matrix, using several categories, including architectural project history, educational recommendations for Proviso, and even company culture.
It is unclear how the board will vote. Rodriguez said March 3 it is a “very hard decision.”
But one board member, Forest Parker Ned Wagner, said on Feb. 25 that he favored Perkins Will, which scored highest on the matrix.
“They had a fabulous presentation,” Wagner said. “They have the clearest vision.”
When reached by phone March 7, Wagner said that having a Master Facilities Plan is one of the conditions for the state-mandated Financial Oversight Panel to leave the district and concurred with Rodriguez about the positive return on investment.
Requests for comment from board members Claudia Medina, Teresa McKelvy and Brian Cross were not returned by press time.
For now, exact terms of the any agreement remain unsettled.
Perkins Will has offices across the United States, but the firm was founded in Chicago in the 1930s, according to its website. Perkins Will did not return a request for comment by press time.
Fanning Howey has several offices across the Midwest, including Oak Brook, and has completed projects in several Chicago-area schools in Deerfield and Waukegan. Fanning Howey did not return a request for comment by press time.
Lombard-based ARCON has worked in several suburbs, too, including Evanston and Hanover Park. An ARCON spokesperson, Richard Cozzi, said he wasn’t briefed on the details of the on the Proviso presentation and declined comment.