Construction at LHS Update

The heating and cooling system is being worked on outside the pool doors.

The heating and cooling system is being worked on outside the pool doors.

Becky DeAcetis, Staff Writer

Libertyville High School is currently undergoing several major construction projects and had other less noticeable, but no less important, projects that were completed over Winter Break.

The most extensive project currently being worked on is the boiler plant outside the pool doors. The plant is where the heating and cooling for the entire building come from; the plant is currently underground, which prohibits the Buildings and Grounds Department from performing maintenance checks and fixing the pipes. The goal is to change how the heating and cooling is produced; the previous system was inefficient. This system is being changed so that the water-producing energy is being heated directly, unlike the previous system; the water will produce steam at the site of the water, making the system more efficient.

There used to be pipes underground outside of the pool doors; because the pipes were underground, the Buildings and Grounds staff couldn’t prefore matinence checks. The only reason they were able to tell the pipes were in poor condition was from the steam leak last year.

Many students are not aware of what the project is doing and are frustrated with the uncompleted construction work; it prevents them from using the pool doors since they are closed. “They said they were going to be done mid-october and that was fine. Now it’s the middle of January. I like to use that door to enter and leave the school,” sophomore Rachel Tobler commented. Like many students, Tobler didn’t know what the goal of the construction was: “I thought it was for a security entrance.”

Some students understand that the construction will help but still believe the project has taken too long. “It’s beneficial, but it’s taking too long,” said sophomore Caroline Short, another student who frequently used the pool doors.

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The Building and Grounds Department is moving the pipes so they are above ground. They will be placed on the walls and roof of the school, which will allow maintenance to check and fix the pipes more easily. The pool doors will be moved to where the windows next to the pool doors currently are; the windows will not be replaced. The project is expected to be finished over spring break, according to Stancil.

“It’s going to guarantee we have at least 60 years of life left in this pipe and the biggest thing for us, to be able to inspect it. With it being underground and not in a tunnel system, we can’t identify the condition of the pipes,” explained Mr. Chris Stancil, the Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds.

Another major project is the dismantlement of Brainerd. The demolition began Dec.15 and the construction workers had to ensure the safety of the demolition before enacting it. The building had asbestos, a dangerous chemical found in paint, in the basement, and they had to obtain a permit to allow the demolition to occur. The space will be used to construct more athletic fields, parking, outdoor bathrooms, storage and a small memorial to Brainerd, containing a slab of stone that was used in the entrance of the school. District 128 posted updates on flickr.

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“It makes me sad that they’re in the middle of destroying it.” said sophomore Alexandra Hansen.

This view is not shared by all students: “I never understood the point of having it in the first place. It was just sucking up money,” stated Short.

The Building and Grounds Department has three major seasons that they use to complete projects: winter, spring and summer break. Anccording to Stancil LHS updated doors, parts of bathrooms, cleaned the pool and performed other maintenance around the school over winter break.