Kirkegaard worked closely with Wight & Company on an extensive renovation and addition to CHSD 99 Downers Grove South High School. Three phases of work over the course of three years created a tall, open Commons in which controlled reverberation and a calibrated level of background noise allow students to study and socialize without disturbing each other or the rooms that overlook the Commons. Several focus rooms off the Commons support small meetings or study groups. A new performing arts wing includes a 1200-seat Auditorium and Black Box theater with dressing rooms, scene shop, costume shop, and theater rehearsal classroom. Downers South has a notable reputation in the community and statewide for its theater, speech and performing arts curriculum, and the Black Box and Auditorium match the high quality level of those programs. With a full flytower and movable orchestra shell, the Auditorium supports a variety of uses: Broadway style musicals, concert band, jazz band, orchestra, and choir, including a holiday concert that showcases all these musical styles in a single performance. It is also used regularly for school assemblies and keynote speakers. Performance AV systems were implemented in the auditorium, black box, and back of house support spaces. The systems were designed to provide the robust flexibility desired for large scale productions, while simultaneously giving the school simple, automated features to support day to day teaching and unstaffed events. The production systems can utilize digital infrastructure, analog infrastructure, or a combination of both - which is ideal for a teaching environment where students are learning sound and video design. AV infrastructure included digital DANTE protocol that was carefully coordinated with the school’s various security and IT network requirements. The new Auditorium was built on the footprint of the old, surrounded on three sides by existing construction that is separated by an acoustic isolation joint. New rooftop units were carefully located and treated to keep the critical spaces quiet. Kirkegaard also performed environmental site noise surveys before and after construction to demonstrate the negligible impact of new mechanical equipment on neighboring houses.
Project Details
Audiovisual Systems Design
Mechanical Noise Control
Room Acoustics Design
Sound Isolation
Wight & Company 2500 North Frontage Road Darien, IL 60561
Schuler Shook 750 North Orleans, Ste 400 Chicago, IL 60654
Auditorium - 1200 Seats
Downers Grove