An extensive renovation and additions to two District 99 high schools, phased across three years and totaling over $100M, completely transformed both schools. At Downers Grove South High School, the work included a new central Commons and a new performing arts wing.
In the tall, open Commons, 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 space. The performing arts wing includes a 1200-seat Auditorium and Black Box theater with dressing rooms, scene shop, costume shop, and theater rehearsal classroom. With a full flytower and movable orchestra shell, the Auditorium supports a variety of activities: school assemblies, Broadway musicals, concert band, jazz band, orchestra, and choir, and a holiday concert that showcases all these musical styles in a single performance. Performance AV systems in the auditorium, black box, and back of house support spaces provide the robust flexibility needed for large scale productions, while simultaneously giving the school simple, automated features to support day to day teaching and unstaffed events. AV infrastructure includes a digital DANTE protocol that is coordinated with the school’s security and IT network requirements. New rooftop units were designed to keep critical spaces quiet and minimize site noise. Kirkegaard performed environmental site noise surveys before and after construction to demonstrate their negligible impact on neighboring houses.