The RoundUp’s guide to BHS construction

Initial rendering of the updated main entrance. Photo by Barrington 220
Initial rendering of the updated main entrance. Photo by Barrington 220
Front Atrium Status
Front Atrium Status

The remaining work on the front atrium includes the completion of the building envelope, including glazing (glass installation) and exterior wall panel installation. In addition, other pending work includes electrical work, such as light installation, HVAC work (air conditioning and heating), flooring installations, painting, wireless access installation, and site work, which is mainly landscaping.* The front atrium, according to the Build220 information page on the District 220 website, “will be a commons area that serves as a flexible learning space, as well as a place where students can eat lunch, meet in groups, or work on individual projects.”

*Note that this information was provided to the RoundUp in September 2023. Progress on the front atrium has been made since.

***NOVEMBER UPDATE: Construction on the front atrium is near completion, and is set to have its debut opening at Winterfest in early December.

Front Atrium Before/After
*Note that these images are initial renderings completed before construction started. Photos by Barrington 220
Construction Project Progress
Completed Projects
  • Student Services area renovations are complete. This includes the counseling, attendance, health services, dean’s office and wellness areas.
  • PE and wellness interior renovations are complete.
  • Parking lot reconfiguration is complete. The goal was to improve traffic circulation and safety.
  • The renovation of the Field of Dreams and the varsity baseball field is complete.
  • The installation of synthetic turf for a new multipurpose athletic field is complete.
  • The replacement and relocation of tennis courts is complete.
Projects Underway
  • Safety and security improvements are in progress.
  • General repairs and maintenance are in progress.
  • The renovation of the previous commons space is currently being converted into a new culinary arts lab.
  • Architectural design plans and ideas are underway for a potential new Fine Arts Center. As per the October 3, 2023 DLA presentation, options are being developed “for the Board of Education to fund the implementation” of a new space.
  • The front atrium addition is in progress.
Haven't Begun
  • The existing student cafeteria will be renovated in the 2024 summer.
  • The current phone system will be replaced with a new digital system.
Bonds, Barrington and Build220

The Build220 funding began in March 2020, when Barrington area voters approved a $147 million bond referendum.

“It was, I think, like 61% of community members voted to support, they voted ‘yes’ on the referendum,” Samantha Scheinman, Barrington’s Director of Communications, said.

The high school projects, happening through 2025, cost $62 million. This includes projects for safety, security, repairs, maintenance and new construction. According to the Scheinman, the high school was allocated the most — nearly half — of the budget as it is the largest school in the district.

The Phases

There are three phases per project or building: the design phase, the bid phase and the build phase.

The design phase involves initial renderings and goals. Administration and staff members were involved in the design process, as were some community members and students. A community design meeting took place over Zoom in November 2021.

The bid phase follows the design phase and is mainly handled by the district’s Business Services Office. The bid phase is essential time for prospective bidders to get drawings and submit bids for designs. A variety of contracting companies make bids for different projects. The district then picks the company with the lowest bid. After, the construction team analyzes and formulates recommendations for Board approval.

After the bid phase, the district moves to the build phase, which is the phase the Build220 is currently in.

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