Lincoln Hall entrance to be redone
Updated: April 22, 2013 2:46AM
LINCOLNWOOD — District 74 officials recently got a glimpse of what an improved main entrance to Lincoln Hall might look like.
Security and accessibility concerns surrounding the entryway, located in the southwest corner of the middle school, have been on the district’s radar since 2009.
Currently, the main school office on the second floor is geographically separated from the front doors. Visitors who pass the locked doorway must ascend a flight of stairs to check in. Two adjacent stairwells lead to classrooms on the school’s lower level.
A wheelchair ramp is attached to a separate doorway.
Concept 3 Architects, a firm previously retained by the district for life-safety work, crafted a rough rendering of how a relocated main entrance and office complex could be structured.
The proposed addition creates a lower-level outdoor plaza that leads into a security vestibule. Staff would be able to view visitors through a camera and unlock the doors remotely to grant access to a waiting room area with seating.
A new ADA-compliant ramp would be attached to the entryway plaza, located near an existing elevator chute.
New first-floor offices facing southward would also give administrators visual access of the parking lot, said Mark Miller of the architectural firm.
Construction of the proposed new main entrance addition, offices-to-classrooms conversion, and additional site work would cost approximately $1.28 million.
Miller said since the estimation reflected 2013 pricing, the actual costs would likely increase by three to four percent if undertaken next year.
The preliminary design — prepared by Concept 3 without input from district administration and school staff – shows the existing main entrance intact as a secondary entryway, with which several board members took issue.
Locking the existing front doors and creating a separate entry vestibule was more like a “patchwork” plan than a solution, according to Michael Davros.
He worried the district would eventually spend the same amount of money on renovation as it would cost to rebuild the school altogether.
“You’ll have to sweet talk me into this one,” Davros said.
John Vranas disagreed with Davros’ comment that Lincoln Hall was a “black hole.”
“It’s a rock-solid facility,” he said. “We’re going to do the work that needs to be done to provide an outstanding education facility.”
Board President Scott Anderson directed the facilities committee, of which Vranas is a member, to reexamine the proposed design and report back to the board sometime over the next year.
If undertaken, the earliest time in which construction on the main entrance could begin is the summer of 2014.