Citizens of Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills, and Burr Ridge have something to celebrate this November. In the recent November 8th polls, the referendum for the new Hinsdale Middle School passed. Thanks to a community education effort, voters were aware of all the implications included in the referendum and the benefits that would go along with it. This community effort was key to the referendum's success.
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One of the main reasons Hinsdale began exploring the idea of a new school is the overcrowding in their current facility: enrollment numbers exceed the existing school's capacity, forcing sixth graders to attend class in temporary trailers outside the school. Additionally, the existing building has odd shaped, undersized classrooms that were adapted from an early concept "open plan school"; a gymnasium on the 3rd floor without public restrooms; HVAC issues that cause poor air quality; roof leaks; and numerous other shortcomings.
Creating a new school means appropriate instruction space; a roof that doesn't leak; and temperature regulation so that students will no longer have to wear parkas in class. Using the clear and comprehensive feedback of our D181 community following the March 2016 referendum's defeat, the HMS Board of Education, Staff, and Cordogan Clark developed a revised proposal that took into account the data from 500 phone survey respondents, over 1500 online survey respondents, conversations with the HMS staff and Board of Education, input from residents who attended the engagement events, and best practices in education design and school construction.
The result of this input and collaboration between Cordogan Clark, the CCSD 181 BOE, Facilities Committee, Administrators, and Teachers was a revised design that reduced cost by 17% while still meeting the programmatic needs and providing a design that will provide a high quality, 21st century learning environment for CCSD 181 students.
The new 133,900 square foot middle school will be built on the same lot adjacent to the existing school. A new development for HMS is a 243-space, two-level parking deck that will be funded by the Village of Hinsdale, and that will be located in the footprint of the existing building. The conceptual design for the new building includes 34 core classrooms designed for the 21st century collaborative and flexible learning; an acoustically designed cafeteria with full sized stage; gymnasium; and fitness center with direct access from the parking deck; locker rooms; administrative offices; student services; special education classrooms; library; fine arts classrooms; a flexible applied tech/STEAM lab; and several spaces for small group instruction and collaborative areas.
There is also potential for a 'green' roof that would be accessible for instruction and for the elevated fitness walking circuit in the gymnasium, budget permitting. The exterior design reflects of the historic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood using brick and stone and providing generous natural light for all instructional areas of the building.