Lake County High School Technology Campus
Eriksson Engineering Associates, Ltd. (EEA) provided civil engineering, traffic engineering, and landscape architecture services for a complete reconfiguration and reconstruction of the site at Lake County High School Technology Campus (LCTC) in Grayslake, Illinois. LCTC is the largest career technical secondary educational system in the state of Illinois serving twenty-two high schools in Lake and McHenry Counties.
EEA’s civil and traffic engineers completed an extensive assessment of the entire campus relative to drainage, pavement systems, sub-surface soils, and traffic flow. Over the course of a decade, it became apparent to LCTC that their existing vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow patterns were inadequate. There was not enough area for buses to stage and maneuver, which resulted in buses being staged off-site during pick-up and drop-off. Furthermore, their pavement was exhibiting failures and surface drainage was an issue. The findings and recommendations of the assessment were presented to the LCTC Board of Control which is comprised of superintendents representing the twenty-two member schools.
One of the main challenges of the project was to design the site to increase bus staging and on-site parking without increasing the amount of impervious surface area. Through creative and efficient design, EEA’s civil and traffic engineers met this challenge. The entire complement of busses can now stage on-site immediately adjacent to the building, while parking is separate from bus traffic with direct access to the main entrance. Furthermore, additional runoff was avoided and the costs associated with providing stormwater detention facilities were eliminated. Another challenge dealt with the existing parking lot, which was located within a regulatory floodplain. The final design removed parking from the floodplain by creating a “dry creek bed” naturalized with prairie and wetland plantings. The location of this area was coordinated with LCTC to maintain direct visibility of the bus and parking lot areas by building security staff.
Owner input was a priority throughout every step of design, and extensive coordination took place between the civil and traffic engineers, architect, landscape architect, and LCTC representatives to ensure the completed project met the long-term needs and goals of the stakeholders and end users.