District 214's Forest View classrooms being renovated for first time in six decades
With many of its classrooms still unchanged in the six decades since opening as a high school, Northwest Suburban High School District 214's Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights is undergoing nearly $15 million in renovations.
The work will support the district's specialized educational programs and central office staff.
The phased project broke ground June 1 and begins with a major redo of classrooms in the three-story north wing building at 2121 S. Goebbert Road, from demolition to new walls, paint, lighting, heating and cooling system updates, and technology wiring, district officials said.
Construction crews also will be building out a 420-square-foot security vestibule at the northern entrance, and a 5,680-square-foot addition within an interior building courtyard will be used as a new staff training facility.
District spokeswoman Stephanie Kim said the multipurpose space also will be for student and community use, providing a gathering spot for a variety of events, classes, meetings, professional development and rentals. This past school year, the district had about 8,000 events scheduled at Forest View, Kim said.
The classroom upgrades are set for completion before Forest View's 700 students and 124 faculty members return for classes in the fall.
Forest View High School closed in 1986 due to declining enrollment, but today the facility houses six specialty programs outside the district's six traditional high schools.
Students include those who just moved to the United States and don't speak English, some who need additional one-on-one instruction, others trying to get early college credit, and young adults trying to earn their high school diplomas by taking evening classes.
The goal of the project is to improve and expand those programs, centralizing them in one wing for improved efficiency and enhanced security, Kim said.
Interior remodeling of a two-story wing housing district administrative offices is set to begin in September, prompting the relocation of much of the staff for the school year. The administration office will be temporarily located at 2123 S. Arlington Heights Road in Arlington Heights -- the former Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 headquarters. Even though Forest View will be under construction, District 214 board meetings still will be held there, officials said.
The renovated offices and new training space are targeted for completion by early summer 2023.
The Illinois State Board of Education, which issues building permits for schools, has approved the project. But the Arlington Heights village board last week issued a "proceed at own risk" authorization to allow construction to go forward before the village zoning process is complete.
Though it's long been a school facility, the property never has been issued a village special use permit. The building addition proposal triggered that requirement, village officials said.
The zoning process, which would include a formal application and appearance at the plan commission, is expected to take a few months.