GLENWOOD | Brookwood District 167 fifth- and sixth-graders could be in a new school by August 2015.
That's what district officials and representatives of the architect and construction firm for the new Brookwood Middle School said at a community forum in the school gym Thursday.
"The dream is about to become a reality," Superintendent Valorie Moore said. "I hope that you are as excited as our board, as our kids, as the staff at Brookwood Middle School are."
A referendum for the sale of bonds to raise $15.8 million for a new building to replace the current Brookwood Middle School passed with almost 70 percent of the vote in November 2012.
The current building is more than 100 years old.
Doug Lim, of Gilbane Construction, laid out two possible timelines for the project. The first would require portions of construction and design to overlap but would have the school ready for its target 2015-16 school year. The second would be a more conventional timeline that would have the school operational in August of 2016.
Lim said Gilbane is a global company with over 2,000 employees and can take on the challenge of fast-tracking the project.
"This is not something new. We do this all the time," Lim said. "We build schools. This is nothing new for us."
Alan Armbrust, of architectural firm STR Partners LLC, laid out some of the challenges that will come with designing and building a school in just over one school year. He said the issues of getting the proper permits and approvals are nothing unusual but did represent challenges.
"We can't start designing that site until we really have that site locked down for certain," Armbrust said. "If the site issues are resolved very quickly, I think 2015 is achievable."
One of the difficulties in designing the new building is that a portion of the land it would be built on at Eberhardt Avenue was owned not by the school district but by the village of Glenwood. Real Estate Attorney James Levy said the district is working with the village to vacate the land.
"We're hoping that we can get this completed so we don't have to worry about the issue of Eberhardt any longer," Levy said. "We have sat down with the village and we're confident that we can resolve the issue."