Lycee Francais de Chicago‘s move from its current campus to the new one is so far going to plan, according the school’s president, Alain Weber. The inside of the new building, which will be built on the former site of the Ravenswood Hospital at 4550 N.
Wilson Winchester Ave., has been gutted and the focus has been shifted to the building’s exterior, advancing the already underway demolition process.
Weber said he expects demolition to be completed by April 2013.
“We have selected a contractor, and more than likely, building will start on or about Jan. 1, 2014,” Weber said. “The school will open in September of 2015.”
A search committee selected Bulley & Andrews, LLC as the contracting firm to design the school’s new building after presentations were given from several potential contractors.
“We had extensive review of their work and what [Bulley & Andrews] have done in the past and the committee felt they would be best for the job that we have,” Weber said. “They’ve worked with schools of educational institutions. Budget constraints were also a consideration.”
According to a statement from Bulley & Andrews, the project is expected to cost $30 million.
“Right now, we’re providing pre-construction services, doing an evaluation of design and the owner’s needs and wants versus budgetary constraints,” said Nick Cabrera, senior project manager at Bulley & Andrews.
The building will strive to be LEED certified, showing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. There are three levels of LEED certification, silver, gold and platinum, but Cabrera said the firm isn’t trying for a specific level.
Finding that balance between need and want is factoring heavily into the school’s visions of itself and what its future home will represent.
“The building is going to be frugal, but unique,” Weber said. “Frugal because everything has a cost. We are an independent school and we don’t have all the funds that we’d like to have, so we have to be very careful about how we spent our money. And unique because it is really the presentation of Lycee and to have Lycee be the focal point for the French community, Franco-American community, the international community.”