The New Neal redevelopment team has some exciting news to share! We want to let everyone in the community know that we are moving along well with the project and this week, in partnership with AbbVie, we have released important updates on the exterior of the building as well as project schedule. Please see the links below for a preview to the new building as well as the design and construction timeline.
We hope that everyone is having a good start to the school year, even as we continue to adjust to the new way of living our lives given COVID. The New Neal development project timeline and regular meetings with the FAC and CAC have had to change due to the COVID crisis, but the planning and design work have continued.
Superintendent John Price and IFF recognize that this has been a complex process, and one of the principles from the beginning has been to provide the opportunity for engagement and input from as many people as possible. As the African proverb says, if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together. We plan to go far, and we plan to go together. The COVID crisis has made this collaboration more difficult, and this in turn has delayed our progress. We are working on a new updated schedule and will share that with you as soon as possible.
Monday evening, January 13th, the Neal Math and Science Academy project presented for approval of a zoning amendment and two zoning variances in front of the North Chicago Planning and Zoning Commission. The meeting took place in the Neal Math and Science Academy gymnasium, and many members of the public spoke in favor of the project and the approval of the zoning amendment and zoning variances, including Mayor Rockingham, Lake County Public Works Director Rodney Worden, and teachers and administrators at both Neal and District 187. The project team presented on the proposed site plan, circulation plan, building height and facade rendering, and spoke on the rationale for the placement of the building on the site.
Overall, the meeting was highly successful and presented a great opportunity for the community to clarify their questions about the project, and celebrate the progress thus far.
Fall 2019 was a busy season for the many groups involved in the redevelopment of the new Neal Math and Science Academy- from Neal seventh graders to architects at JGMA to Neal teachers and staff, and many more! The team is currently wrapping up the “Design Development” phase. Design Development entails listening to the many users of the future building (students, staff, administrators) about their visions, translating these dreams into floor plans, working with estimators to come up with preliminary budgets, and talking with North Chicago zoning officials.
Here is a taste of what we have been up to this Fall…
Over the past four months, the Facility Advisory Council (FAC) talked about the budget over tacos from Taqueria Toluca in August and floor plans over pulled pork sandwiches from Big Ed’s BBQ in September. The FAC is comprised of community stakeholders, USD187 board members, USD187 administrators,
– Rebuilding Neal Math & Science Academy supports student success and underscores AbbVie’s ongoing commitment to North Chicago, where the company is headquartered
– Donation is part of AbbVie’s $350 million charitable contribution pledge to nonprofit partners
NORTH CHICAGO, Ill., March 21, 2019 – AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, today announced a donation of $40 million to North Chicago Community Unit School District (CUSD) 187 to fund the rebuilding of the district’s only middle school: Neal Math & Science Academy. This donation will provide a safer, modernized learning environment to improve student success for children and aims to help improve graduation rates, reduce dropout rates and increase college and career readiness.