School to undergo revamp in $7.4m project

January 11, 2019 by  

District 113 Township High Schools, which includes Deerfield, is planning to remodel the cafeteria of Highland Park High.

School staff want the $7.4m project to increase the amount of seating, and renovate the space to improve inclusion and equity among students. Enlarging the space and moving the kitchen will create a more open environment.

The original price of the project was $5.6 million but relocating the kitchen added to the cost. It also meant rerouting utilities, which substantially adding to the cost. The kitchen is now in the center of the space and moving it creates a more efficient space.

On January 22, the school board will meet and analyze the plan and look into bids. It will be the most expensive project for the district in 2019, as the district has a budget of $9m for the year. Staff suggest beginning to work on the cafeteria before summer vacation so it be complete by the time the students return in the fall.

According to Michael Dolter, the architect, designers originally used the present cafeteria space since there were not enough funds to move the kitchen. However, more funds are now available and administrators decided to go with an option that adds space. Around 130 more students will be able to sit in the space. Many students have to use benches and the hallways to eat lunch now.

Selling promotional products for schools displays spirit and can help raise money for large projects like the cafeteria renovation.