Township High School District 214 is making celebratory noises about Elk Grove High School, its newly sound-insulated building, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 500 W. Elk Grove
Blvd., Elk Grove Village. The school's multi-million dollar sound abatement construction project was completed in August, and the school district is celebrating by inviting visitors to tour the building. There also will be a reception and brief remarks by district and school officials, as well as the O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) Chairperson and Arlington Heights Mayor, Arlene Mulder.
Thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration's $15.5 million grant and the ONCC who was instrumental in persuading FAA officials to take a second "look" at aircraft noise levels at the high school, Elk Grove students are enjoying a quieter learning environment. The double-paned glass with thicker outside windows, new insulated roofing, high noise-reduction ceiling tile, and unit ventilators with sound baffles have reduced the noise level significantly.
Deb Parenti, associate superintendent for finance & operations and an ONCC member, has worked on this project for over seven years and is delighted to see the development and planning come to fruition. "This noise abatement project will enhance the learning environment for thousands of students for many years to come," she said.
The grant, which is 80 percent reimbursable by the FAA with Airport Improvement Program funds and 20 percent reimbursable by the City of Chicago with approved airline passenger facility charges, was specifically earmarked to help reduce aircraft noise within classrooms. Approximately $12.6 million has been spent on the project, which includes improvements in every academic area, including the complete renovation of 71 classrooms, cafeteria, and gymnasium.
During the nine-week construction period, approximately 400 tradesmen put in about 64,000 hours of trade labor, including demolition, carpentry, roofing, electrical, HVAC, acoustical ceiling and drywall, painting, and more. The entire electrical system was upgraded and approximately 84,200 sq. ft. of new roofing, 177 new pieces of mechanical equipment, and 23,000 feet (over 4 miles) of pipe ranging from 3/4 inch to 10 inches were installed. As part of its regularly scheduled facilities improvement project, the school district spent an additional $1.2 million to remodel two bathrooms, the commons area, and the main foyer, as well as add a new community room, seating area for students, ticket booth, and storage areas.
An additional benefit resulting from the sound insulation and remodeling project is the enormous gain in energy efficiency and the knowledge that 75-percent of construction waste and 100-percent of the demolished ceiling tiles were recycled.