Project Benefits

New Trier High School spent years engaging with its faculty, students, staff, parents, neighbors, and community members to create this facilities plan. The result is a project that will help New Trier serve the educational needs of its students for generations to come while respecting the impact on District taxpayers and the neighborhood surrounding our school. The project will:

  • Build more than 25 new core academic classrooms for math, social studies, English, business, and languages; current classrooms are outdated (the newest classrooms were built in 1957) and overscheduled
  • Add three new science labs; New Trier currently does not have enough science labs to meet student demand in a nine-period day, meaning some students must take lab classes in summer school or in early bird classes before the regular school day
  • Include new classrooms and labs for New Trier's growing engineering and technology programs
  • Replace outdated heating and cooling systems with new energy-efficient systems
  • Make the entire campus accessible for people with disabilities by adding two new elevators and replacing buildings that now have entire floors accessible only by stairs
  • Avoid the cost of $6 million in planned repair and maintenance to the existing buildings over the next five years
  • Enhance safety with secure entrances and fire sprinklers
  • Stay on the same footprint of land while doubling the amount of usable building space on the western portion of the campus
  • Include a new library and new spaces for the music, theatre, and art programs
  • Replace the 1912 cafeteria with one that can seat all students assigned each period
  • Add underground stormwater detention vaults at the Winnetka Campus to greatly reduce water runoff in the neighborhood. For more information, click here .

The Winnetka Campus Facilities Project will take place over three summers and two school years, beginning in 2015 and ending before the opening of the 2017-2018 school year. The schedule calls for demolition and heavy construction during the summers, while students are out of the building; preparation for demolition will begin this spring. The project will be completed in two phases:

  • Demolition of the 1931 Tech Arts Building and construction of the new cafeteria, library, some classrooms, and the North entrance (summer 2015-summer 2016)
  • Demolition of the 1912 Cafeteria and 1950 Music building and construction of new facilities for the Music, Art, Applied Arts, and Theatre programs as well as new core academic classrooms (summer 2016-summer 2017).

Timeline (PDF)

Project Phasing (PDF)

School calendars

In order to keep the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project on time and on budget for completion by the opening of the 2017-2018 school year, New Trier will need to extend the summers for the next two years while construction takes place. That means the school calendars will look a bit different than our typical school year, with a slightly earlier than usual start date in 2015-2016 and then later start dates the following two years. It is important to provide extra time during the summer for the construction companies to complete the messiest and most difficult parts of demolition and construction that, if completed during the school year, could result in disruption to school or delay in the final completion of the project.

These school year calendars were developed in consultation with parents and with our faculty and staff. During preliminary discussions about the calendars, one common priority emerged from both parents and faculty/staff: Keep two weeks of Winter Break and a full week of Spring Break because these are important times for families to spend together. All of these calendars keep both breaks intact each year, and we will coordinate the breaks with our elementary sender districts so families will have time off together .

In addition to the long Winter Break and Spring Break, other holidays remain in the calendars.
The following days will continue to be holidays or NON-attendance days for students

  • Labor Day
  • Yom Kippur: Yom Kippur falls on a school day in the first two years and on a Saturday in 2017-18
  • Thanksgiving
  • Friday after Thanksgiving
  • Winter Break - 10 school days
  • Spring Break - 5 school day
  • Memorial Day: In the 2015-16 school year, Memorial Day falls after the regular school year ends.
  • Institute Days: No student attendance on four days: Each year there are two Institute Days at the beginning of school, one in November, and one in February.
  • Parent Teacher Conferences: No student attendance is required on the second day of conferences, which are normally scheduled about a week and a half after first quarter ends
  • Late-Start and Early Dismissal days will be scheduled as in past years in order to provide professional development time for staff; these are non-attendance days or partial days for students.
  • Testing Days: While the schedule for state-mandated testing remains tenuous, we know that some students will be required to take state tests on school days and other students will not be required to attend on those days. As many as five school days could be impacted each year if Illinois continues with PARCC testing.

However, to create a calendar which lengthens the summer, we will hold school on the following holidays that sometimes have been days off in the past. ( NOTE: The religious holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday will be reinstated as holidays once the school returns to a normal calendar in 2018-19. Holding school on these days is a TEMPORARY measure. Also, we will follow long-standing practice for religious holidays by not scheduling any athletic practices/contests or other extracurricular activities on the evenings before all Jewish holidays or on any of the holidays themselves. If we hold school on Rosh Hashanah and/or Good Friday, teachers will be directed not to administer tests on those days and to keep the homework load negligible.)

Attendance Days during construction project:

  • Rosh Hashanah: Students who take this day off to observe the holiday will receive an excused absence
  • Friday before Columbus Day and Columbus Day
  • Wednesday before Thanksgivin
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • Presidents' Day: In two of the three Draft Calendars, President's Day will fall on a teacher Institute Day, giving students that day off and providing a long weekend for families. In the 16-17 school year, the Institute Day falls on a Friday because we are hosting the IHSA State Swim Meet. Again, students do not attend that day, so families will still have a long weekend in February.
  • Good Friday - In two of the three draft calendars, Good Friday falls during Spring Break. In the other year, Good Friday falls in late April. Students who take this day off to observe the holiday will receive an excused absence as noted above.

School Year Calendars during and after construction :


New Trier's top priority is to keep our students, staff, visitors, and neighbors safe during construction and to maintain an appropriate learning environment for our students. Our Construction Manager, Pepper Construction, is highly experienced in school construction and will monitor noise, air quality, and other safety issues throughout the construction process. All workers on site must submit to criminal background checks, and workers will remain within the construction area during work hours. In addition, Pepper will work with the school to minimize noise to the fullest extent possible, particularly during testing days.

Safety inside the building:

Barrier walls have been erected to separate the portion of the new addition that is under construction from the buildings in use. Code states that these barrier walls must be one hour fire rated; this means there will be no cracks or gapes that could allow dust from the construction site to enter the occupied building. The barrier walls also are weather proof.

In the Phase One portion of the new addition that opened for the 2016-2017 school year, the concourse brings natural light into classrooms and common areas and provides a seamless connection between the new addition and the existing campus. New Trier staff monitor each floor to assure that students are behaving safely throughout the new addition and existing campus. A security staff member also is posted at the entrance to the concourse. In addition, the green roof patios featured in both Phase One and Phase Two of the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project are open to students only with adult supervision; the roof doors are locked outside of the school day. The green roof will be closed during the winter and inclement weather.

Safety outside the building:

Our contractors will use all methods available to help reduce dust during demolition. These methods will include using water to wet the areas while they're being demolished, silt fences to keep as much dirt on our property, and street cleaning on a regular basis.

The contractor also will set up seismic vibration monitors. These will ensure that our existing buildings as well as our neighbors' homes are not damaged during the project.

Neighborhood noise and traffic

Construction deliveries and construction traffic in general will not be allowed during the morning student drop-off or afternoon pick-up times. No construction deliveries will be allowed before or after the Village of Winnetka's 7 a.m to 7 p.m. time limits.

Noise-generating activities will not be allowed on the site before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. on weekdays and before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

Asbestos and Air Quality

Like many older buildings, New Trier's Winnetka Campus was constructed with some asbestos-containing materials. The school must follow extensive safety procedures when removing asbestos or performing construction that could disturb these materials. To learn more about New Trier's asbestos safety plan, please read the Asbestos FAQ .

Pepper Construction Safety Statement (pdf)


New Trier High School is committed to sustainability and green building standards. To that end, the District is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project. LEED is a rating system that measures the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. LEED was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council to guide the building industry and provide standards for sustainability for a variety of building projects. LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a project was designed and built to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.(Source: U.S. Green Building Council). The Winnetka Campus Facilities Project contains many elements that will contribute to the points necessary to achieve LEED Silver Certification, from the use of sustainable building materials to on-site stormwater detention and the replacement of outdated heating and cooling systems with much more energy-efficient systems.


New Trier High School is committed to offering its full curriculum during the two school years when our new Winnetka Campus building will be constructed. No classes will be canceled because of the project.

However, during construction, some classes located within the buildings slated for demolition will need to be temporarily relocated while the new addition is constructed. Beginning this spring and continuing throughout the project, some Applied Arts and Art classes will move to the North Annex, a cluster of modular classroom buildings located steps from the North (N17) entrance to the building.

All classes within the North Annex will be held in spaces equal to or larger than their existing classrooms. In addition, these classrooms will be heated, air-conditioned (unlike the existing Tech Arts building), fire-rated with sprinkler systems, and will have the same access to technology as other classrooms. A deck and ramp system with covered walkways will connect the North Annex buildings to each other and to the existing building.

The North Annex is scheduled to open immediately after Spring Break. Students and parents in classes that will be moving to the annex will be notified in the coming weeks. The room numbers assigned to these classrooms will remain the same as they were in the existing building.

Classes temporarily moving to the North Annex during construction

Floor plans and documents

On March 16, Wight & Company presented the Board of Education with detailed renderings and floor plans for the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project. Explore the following links to see the project as it takes shape.

Financial Information

New Trier is committed to financial transparency and will use this website to post financial documents related to the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project.

Bond Sale

In December 2014, two bond rating agencies - Moody's and Standard and Poor's - gave New Trier District 203 their highest possible bond ratings, Aaa/AAA. Both cited the District's strong financial management in providing the ratings. As a result, District 203 was able to get the most competitive rates on its bonds.

In November 2014, voters approved the District's request to sell $89 million in bonds to support the $100.3 million project (with the remainder coming from District reserves). The District sold the bonds through a competitive bidding process in January 2015 at a lower-than-projected all-in interest cost of 2.8 percent. The bonds will be paid off over 20 years, with an estimated annual impact on taxpayers of $15.89 per $1,000 in property taxes paid, or about $238/year on a $15,000 tax bill.

Bond Sale Memo


Each month, New Trier will post information on facilities project-related contracts and bids approved by the Board of Education

January 2015:

February 2015:

March 2015:

April 2015:

May 2015:

June 2015:

August 2015:

November 2015:

December 2015:

January 2016:

February 2016:

March 2016:

April 2016:

May 2016:

June 2016:

July 2016:

August 2016:

September 2016:


New Trier understands that our neighbors nearest to the Winnetka Campus will have special concerns during our construction project. We appreciate the support and feedback the neighborhood has given us through emails, phone calls, and at the many neighborhood workshop meetings we held before the community referendum that allowed us to go forward with this important work. We are committed to keeping the lines of communication open throughout the project and responding promptly to any questions you may have. We also will use this website, emails, and regular mail when necessary to keep our neighbors informed about work that may affect the streets surrounding the neighborhood.

Please contact Neighborhood Liaison Niki Dizon at or 847-784-2666 with questions or comments about the project, and she will get back to you within 24 hours. If you have an immediate concern about trespassing or illegal parking in the neighborhood or at the work site, please call Winnetka Police.


Presentation from the June 14, 2017 Neighborhood Facilities Meeting : Information about Summer 2017 construction activities, dust and noise control, project phasing and schedule, and other information.

Presentation from the April 27, 2016 Neighborhood Meeting : Information about Summer 2016 construction activities, dust and noise control, project phasing and schedule, and other information.

Presentation from the September 9, 2015 Neighborhood Meeting : Information about lighting, dust control, traffic and parking, construction hours/days, and the timeline for the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project.

Presentation from the July 8, 2015 Neighborhood Meeting : Information about truck routes, dust control, vibrations, landscaping, storm water management, and the timeline for the Winnetka Campus Facilities Project.

Presentation from Feb. 10 neighborhood meeting : Information about the construction timeline, safety procedures, and the travel route and installation of temporary classroom units over two weeks in March. Traffic may slow for a few minutes along the route as these units, escorted by police, make their way to the Winnetka Campus.

Key Events Calendar 2015-2016 : A calendar of events at New Trier High School that may bring higher than usual volumes of traffic into the neighborhood

I Heard That …

We know that rumors can spread like wildfire, especially when they relate to a project of this size and complexity. This is the place to sort out fact from fiction. We will list rumors as we hear them, and we encourage you to let us know if you hear something that you are not sure is true. Click here for a form to submit questions/rumors, and we will respond via email or on this site.

  • I heard that New Trier will cancel or not offer some classes like PLTW Engineering or Glass Art because of construction
    Rumor Status: FALSE. New Trier is committed to offering its full curriculum during construction. While some classes may temporarily move (see NORTH ANNEX/TEMPORARY CLASSROOMS above), no classes will be canceled because of the project.
  • I heard that New Trier is sending sophomores to join the freshmen at the Northfield Campus during the construction project.
    Rumor Status: FALSE. Freshmen will remain at the Northfield Campus; sophomores through seniors stay at the Winnetka Campus.
  • I heard that you're getting rid of spring break and winter break!
    Rumor Status: FALSE. While there will be some changes to the school calendar (see the TIMELINE section) on the Facilities page, we will still have a two-week winter break and one-week spring break coordinated with our elementary sender districts.
  • I heard we'll be eating in the gym during construction.
    Rumor Status: : FALSE. The new addition will be built in two phases. During the first phase (2015-2016 school year), the existing cafeteria will remain operational while workers build the new cafeteria, library, and some classrooms. During the second phase (2016-2017 school year), the new cafeteria will be open for business!

  • I heard that the concourse is a wasteful feature that serves no purpose other than decoration.
    Rumor status: FALSE. While the concourse is indeed a stunning part of the new addition, it was designed with function in mind. The entire concourse is skylit, bringing vast amounts of natural light into the cafeteria, library, and interior classrooms. Studies have shown that attention and learning are enhanced by exposure to natural light. The concourse also allows for a seamless connection between the new addition and the existing campus on every floor. The concourse also brings additional ADA accessibility to the campus with a new elevator in each phase. Two buildings replaced by the new addition had upper floors that were accessible only by stairs.

I have more questions about the project. Where can I find the answers?

Please click here for an online form to submit your questions, and we will respond via email. You also may call Communications Director Niki Dizon at 847-784-2666.