After being selected in the late 1990s by Valley View CUSD 365U as the District Architect, Wight & Company forged a trusted partnership with the District that spanned three decades and delivered over 30 projects through the Design-Led Design-Build approach. The scope covered a wide range of project types, including new construction, renovation/additions, and renovations to shift grade-level structures. The total capital investment exceeded $300 million for the Bolingbrook/Romeoville-based school district. As a large unit district with 21 schools serving over 18,000 students, the primary work spanned over a 20-year period with two successful referenda.

Project highlights include:

  • Three new elementary schools and one new middle school
  • A new Bolingbrook High School that became the first LEED Certified school in Illinois
  • A major addition/renovation to Romeoville High School
  • Accelerated implementation of all-day kindergarten at 12 elementary schools
  • An 18-month addition/renovation program at eight elementary schools and three middle schools
  • A new transportation center and maintenance facility
  • Major facility renovations to shift a high school to a middle school, a middle school to an elementary school, and an elementary school/administrative center to an early childhood center

After the initial projects in the late 1990s, the district leveraged the Design-Led Design-Build approach for subsequent projects because it provided:

  1. Early cost certainty through Wight's GMAX model
  2. Speed of implementation with expedited decision-making
  3. Flexibility to define scope/design intent without impacting budget or schedule
  4. A single point of responsibility across multiple, simultaneous projects
  5. Flexibility to seamlessly shift capital funds in and out of projects without delay or added fees

Speed of implementation was critical to the successful implementation of the all-day kindergarten program. With the design 75% complete in October, the district needed to roll out the all-day Kindergarten (ADK) program by August of the following school year - 10 months later. Leveraging the DL-DB approach, phased bidding was placed into four groups to help manage trades and minimize risk in the event of subcontractor performance issues. Mobilization occurred in early spring, excavation for additions began in late March, and site work was accelerated. The entire $13.7 million ADK program was successfully completed with only 10 summer weeks to complete interior work and the balance of construction.