The Riverside-Brookfield High School Board of Education is moving toward final decisions on plans to build a new parking lot and demolish its football stadium. 

School officials plan to replace the concrete Shuey Stadium with aluminum bleachers and a new locker room building. A new artificial turf field will be installed to replace the artificial turf field that was installed in 2006, but has been bedeviled by drainage and bubbling issues.

At its meeting on Oct. 14 the school board agreed to hire Nicholas & Associates to be its construction manager for the project. Nicholas & Associates, a Mount Prospect-based firm with extensive experience in school construction, is expected to be formally hired on Oct. 28 to manage the approximately $6.5 million project.

Nicholas & Associates will hold all the contracts with subcontractors, with District 208 only paying Nicholas.

“The choice of this type of construction manager is the right choice,” said board member Tim Walsh.

Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said that the district interviewed four companies for the construction manager position.

 “At the end it came down to fee, experience and continuity,” Skinkis said at the Oct. 14 school board meeting, noting that they have worked with the district’s architect before. “It seemed like a good fit. They have a lot of experience with stadiums.”

The fee for Nicholas & Associates is expected to be 4 percent of construction costs, which should turn out to be approximately $260,000.

Two weeks ago, Skinkis met with Brookfield Village Manager Keith Sbiral and Village Planner Heather Milway to discuss the project.

The football stadium is allowed with a special-use permit in a residential area. Replacing existing structures likely would not require a new special-use permit, but new structures that are substantial changes would require a new special-use permit, Sbiral told the Landmark.

Preliminary plans call for a new 5,400-square-foot locker room building to replace the existing locker rooms underneath the crumbing concrete stands. However, the district is exploring putting the locker rooms underneath the new bleachers, a move that could avoid the need to get a special-use permit from the village.

A new 1,750-square-foot concession building is being planned next to the automotive shop building on the east end of the stadium.

Skinkis told the school board that the district would likely need to get one or two approvals from the village of Brookfield.

A new 75-space parking lot is being planned for the area where the tennis courts currently sit. Five new tennis courts would then be built on the field just north of Hollywood School. 

Many Hollywood residents have objected to building anything on the open field and particularly object to the new parking lot, which they say would exacerbate an already bad flooding problem and result in the loss of valuable green space.

Sbiral said that a new parking lot would have to be approved by the village before it could go forward and would have to meet strict village regulations to prevent flooding. Sbiral said that the village’s regulations are stricter than those of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

“The school has to comply with our storm water ordinance,” Sbiral said. “We were pretty upfront with them about that…Any of these changes beyond really 1,500 square feet are going to require that they retain or detain the water in some way.”

Once the district develops final plans, they must be submitted to the village and go before the village’s Planning and Zoning Commission before ultimately being voted on by the Brookfield Village Board.

“The stuff that they at least preliminarily showed on the west side of their land there … those things are all substantial changes so those would require special use approval,” Sbiral said. 

No plans officially have been submitted to the village. When that happens, it will trigger the special-use process, Sbiral said, which will include a public hearing in front of the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

The hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission is key, and Sbiral said citizens who want their views about the project on the record should attend that meeting.

“That is when the record that is used as the basis to make these decisions by the [village board] is created, so you definitely want to get your input heard at that public hearing of the Planning and Zoning Commission,” Sbiral said. 

The entire process takes a few months, Sbiral said. If plans are submitted in January or February, they might go before the village board for a vote sometime in March or April. Building permits are mostly handled the regional office of education.

7 replies on “RBHS board zeroes in on stadium plans”