H-F Breaks Ground on New Science Building

H-F Breaks Ground on New Science Building

After talks of constructing a new science building was up in the air for around four years, H-F finally broke ground on July 31 for the new Net Zero Science Building. 

Costing about 24 million dollars, the administration had lots of room to implement new innovative ideas.

The new space will be connected to the G-wing of South Building and will feature different collaborative spaces, as well as a net-zero learning infrastructure; it will be the second school in Illinois to do so.

According to Nationalgrid, net zero “refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) that’s produced and the amount that’s removed from the atmosphere.” It is meant to stimulate conversations about the urgency of conservation.

Science teacher Stephanie Gioiosa is excited about the upcoming establishment.

“I think it’s cool that it’s going to be net zero because with climate change it takes into consideration our changing planet, and that we need to reduce energy use,” she said.

Superintendent Scott Wakley explained in what ways energy will be conserved.

“You’ll be able to monitor by the drinking fountain how much water is being used today and how many water bottles are being conserved by using our refillables. And energy; how much the solar panels are generating energy back to the network or the electrical grid, so all of those things are going to be opportunities for students to understand what this really means,” he said.

Environmental engineering student, senior Ava Loudon admires the conservation oriented goals of the building. 

“I think it’s a great addition to the school because science is such an important issue these days with everything that’s changing with global warming,” Loudon said. “I feel like it will encourage students to be more active in science and overall raise a deeper involvement in it. I’m very jealous that they [underclassmen] have these new opportunities, but I’m glad that it’s gonna be there.”

The upcoming labs will be geared towards biology, physics and chemistry classes with additional physics classes being created. The added classes will include anatomy and physiology, industrial physics and astrospace.

The inspiration for the new building stemmed from outdated aspects of our current science facilities.

“Our labs are small and they’re old, and as the next generation science standards need to be implemented, it’s hard to do that in the current configuration, and we are fortunate to have the resources and the support of this community,” said Wakley.

There are a lot of questions on what will become of the current science spaces in B building, but Wakley assures that there are several ideas floating around in regards to what to do with the soon to be empty area.

“We’re gonna redo those [B building] classrooms. It provides more opportunities because we could always use classroom space, but some of them we’d like to have collaborative spaces, areas for students to hang out to a certain extent, and even flexible learning opportunities,” explained Wakley.

“We’ve even talked about a wellness center. A place for meditation; just a quiet place to be. Everything from a coffee shop to just things that students will feel like this is a cool place that they belong in even though it’s still school where they have to be,” he followed up.

As H-F has a budget of 73 million dollars, there is much room to renovate other wings of the school as well, and Wakley plans on “every room getting touched.”

Students can expect to start settling into the building around fall of 2024, and it is expected to be completely finished around that December.


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