Several areas redesigned as ETHS construction continues

Cara Moultrup

Several redesigned areas of Evanston Township High School are open again for use by students and faculty even as the school’s three-year, $12.5 million construction project progresses.

Two cafeterias, the student center, the weight room and the graphic arts center are mostly completed, said Steve Grbavac, director of operations and purchasing for ETHS. Much of the work on the rooms was finished over the summer.

All of the areas were slated to be part of the first phase of ETHS’s general renovation plan. The District 202 School Doard approved the project in order to prepare for increased enrollment, repair the school’s older sections, improve safety and aesthetics, and implement new technology.

The renovations are on schedule, according to initial projections that said the first phase would be completed by September 2002.

The cafeterias have new ceilings and floors, Grbavac said. The new student center is still in progress, but it is functional.

Both cafeterias and the student center were ready when school opened Sept. 4.

Construction on the Upstairs Theater is going well, Grbavac said. Workers have built an elevator shaft and soon will install its inner mechanics. Ninety percent of the scheduled demolition has been completed to make space for improvements such as additional seating and a better catwalk.

The theater should be finished by late March or early April, Grbavac said.

The graphics center is 95 percent complete, although it still needs some furniture, Grbavac said. The school is waiting until Oct. 8 to do the installation work because classes will be canceled for Columbus Day.

The graphics design class, Computers in Art, still is meeting in the computer center, but will move into the new room as soon as there is furniture, said Richard Bowers, art department chairman. The class’s computers, which were purchased last year, have not yet been moved to the graphics center.

Bowers said the class is popular. Last year the class had one section, but now the school offers four semester-long classes.

“Enrollment has grown already,” he said.

The new weight room also is functional, Grbavac said. The school plans to put in more mirrors and a sound system in the future.

Construction continues on twelve new classrooms – also part of the first phase. Workers cleared out asbestos from the area and started to partition the floors for classrooms.

Asbestos reduction initially was needed everywhere in the school, Grbavac said, but they have made great strides in that area.

“Work is progressing well,” he said.