The Student News Site of Berkley High School


The Student News Site of Berkley High School


The Student News Site of Berkley High School


Bond Timeline: How Long Will Projects Take?

In August of 2023, the cities of Huntington Woods, Berkley, and Oak Park voted on a bond for the Berkley School District (BSD). This bond includes many new features that will go to improving the classrooms and facilities in the district. The BSD makeover is exciting, but when will students and teachers get to put these new additions to use, and where are they in the process right now?

BSD is working hard with outside companies to turn these plans into reality. During my interview with BSD Superintendent Scott Fracis, it became clear that bringing these plans to fruition involves an incredible amount of coordination and effort. The process is one that the community isn’t necessarily aware of and explains why these projects will take years. To inform BSD, Superintendent Scott Francis thoroughly explained the future of the bond.

But first, what are some of the projects that the bond made possible? At Burton, Pattengill, Rodgers, and Angell Elementaries the gyms will be remodeled and a Multi-Purpose will be added and remodeled. At Anderson Middle School the parking lot will be expanded, the gym will be remodeled and Hurley Field’s team rooms will be improved. At Norup International School the gym will also be remodeled. And finally, the bond will improve Berkley High School by advancing the areas of science, performing arts, the natatorium, and an addition of an athletic and robotics center. There are also extra projects that are being paid for by BSD’s sinking funds, the money BSD has set aside. This includes Hurley Field improvements, a new maintenance facility, parking/traffic flow in some of the elementaries, and new baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, and new furniture.

The reasoning behind why many of these projects take so long is because of the long creation process. This process consists of a few lengthy stages – designing, bidding, and constructing. In order to accomplish these things, Mr. Francis states, “There are three key players, the construction, the architect, and the district leadership team.” These contributions make it seem like the project would be short, but it definitely isn’t. Specifically, the design appears as if it would be quick and easy, but it is more complex than anticipated. Mr. Francis explains, “The design phase takes a while, mainly because there are lots of meetings for the district to share what is wanted. This phase includes lots of communication, feedback, and coordination.” Along with design, there is also the bidding process. Mr. Francis explains, “We have to go through a bidding process. We can’t just pick our favorite construction company. We have to open up to different companies. Then, they put in their proposals for how much the project will cost.” This takes up to several months. Mr. Francis furthers his explanation, “Throughout the whole timeline we are required to get inspections, which take up some time.” Finally, the actual construction of the new changes to BHS needs to be done, which will finalize the project and advance BSD.

As of right now, there are a few projects in progress that are closer to the finish line than others. These few projects include Hurley Field, new furniture, and new technology.

Hurley Field is currently ripped up and prepared for spring construction to create a more safe and improved playing space for Berkley Athletics. The anticipated date of completion is the fall of 2024. Another addition to our athletic program will be an improvement of the “trash lot” that Mr. Francis would like to rebrand as “The Bear”, standing for Berkley Enrichment Athletics and Recreation”. This will include an indoor field house and a 110-yard outdoor turf field in the area where our maintenance building is located currently. The maintenance building will be knocked down and moved right by Norups playground, to create that space for “The Bear”. The turf and track are estimated to be completed mid-summer 2024, and the field house is estimated to be finished in August 2026.

As we can see throughout the school, new furniture has been tested and scattered in different classrooms. Mr. Francis shares “The new furniture won’t be implemented until the summer because it is too hard to do that major switch to over 300 classrooms during the school year.” This is an exciting feature to look forward to for the 2024-2025 school year. There are also flat panel monitors implemented at Burton and Patengill. Mr. Francis emphasizes, “We are starting with the smaller buildings and then hopefully soon we will be able to install these to the whole district throughout this year.” This is another thrilling addition to the BSD that will make students look forward to starting in the fall next year.

For further information, check out BSD’s bond website, Mr. Francis ensures, “Bond Work Updates will be regularly added to the website. Additionally, I will be providing drone coverage of the projects as they develop over the next few years. I posted my first video of Hurley Field on Instagram @superintendent.francis.”

Again, while it is clear that these projects take a great deal of time, effort, and expense, the community can look forward to these new features that will expand the capabilities and environments of the district for years to come.

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About the Contributor
Molly Frankel
Molly Frankel, Student Life Editor
Hi, I’m Molly Frankel! I am the Student Life Editor this year. This is my second year on staff. I joined writing for publication because I enjoy writing, and sharing my ideas to the public. I also want to become a better writer overall. I am interested in writing about what’s going on in the community! I’m most excited to write new and exciting articles to publish. My donut cutter donut of choice is a strawberry frosted donut with sprinkles!

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