New Construction Underway at the Brainerd Site


Demi Glusic

Both a multi sport synthetic turf field and a storage building are currently being built on the site where the Brainerd school used to stand.

Demi Glusic, Staff Writer

After months of waiting for zoning approval by Libertyville trustees, construction has begun on the property where Brainerd once stood.

While driving past the corner where the Brainerd building stood, one can notice that life is starting to spring back up in the place that has been a flat, brown, and dry land for a while now. After the demolition of the Brainerd building and the adjacent Jackson Gym in late December of last year, further construction was halted until the weather again became favorable, and proposed plans for a new field were approved by village trustees.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “Village trustees voted 4-1 on June 9 to grant special permission for High School District 128 to break standard zoning codes for the new field.”

Over the past few weeks, construction began on the new field. According to Field Turf (a company who constructs new turfs) there are specific steps taken to build any new turf regardless of the construction company. First, the field space is excavated, then a concrete curb/nailer is put in. Later a “Geotextile Fabric and Field Underdrain System” is installed, and then “Free Draining Base Stone and Finish Stone” is put on top.

These steps taken to build a new turf currently can be seen taking place on the Brainerd property. Along with construction on the new field, any passerby could notice a small building has started to be built up from the ground, brick by brick, near the new field.

In an email, Mr. Mark Koopman, the Director of Buildings and Grounds for District 128, said “the District is installing a multi sport synthetic turf field,” along with “a washroom/storage building,” which is the brick building that is being built right now.

The turf’s price tag of $500,000 to $700,000 is why the school district wants a fence around the property,” said the Chicago Tribune. The fence was put up in hopes to keep the new field in good condition for as long as possible.

In addition to the new field and storage building, Mr. Koopman also commented that there will also be a “parking lot which will accommodate 92 vehicles with an additional four handicap spaces,” in contrast to 102 total spots that were at the original Brainerd east and west tennis court parking lots. 

With underclassmen currently facing the difficulty of finding places to park near school, the opening of the new parking lot at Brainerd will provide more spaces for student parking.

Mr. Koopman said in the email that “As completion [of the construction] draws to its end, the underclassmen will be notified of the opening of the parking lot.”

Construction has seemed to be progressing rather quickly, and Mr. Koopman stated that “If the weather cooperates [they] plan to have the project completed by Thanksgiving.”