Woodlands’ Plans for Barat Campus Coming Along
Board will see the results of planning by the architects.
Plans to integrate the current Woodlands Academy campus with the former Barat College grounds will take another step forward when ideas developed by the architectural firm of Perkins & Will are presented at the school’s September board meeting.
The firm has been developing concepts to show the Woodlands board ways to help meet the school’s long term mission, according to Head of School Gerry Grossman.
Earlier: Woodlands Real Work Begins With Special Use Approved
“We want to integrate the two campuses into a functioning campus for our school,” Grossman said. “This integration is our responsibility to members of the community, the city and our school.”
Woodlands special use permit allowing it to merge the campuses was approved by the Lake Forest City Council in February. Perkins & Will was hired. The work so far has been concentrated on flexibility for Woodlands and protecting the natural environment surrounding the grounds.
“We will protect and preserve the green,” Grossman said. This will include the ravines bordering the property as well as the abundant trees. “It’s been a very collaborative process,” he added about working with the city and community.
Though part of the anonymous gift granting the property to Woodlands required the demolition of Old Main, Grossman said the school is committed to retaining and finding a use for the Cooney Library—the last remaining building from Barat.
“We’re looking at possibilities for the reopening of the Cooney Library,” he said. “We’re just beginning to look at that.”
The main focus of the initial presentation is preparing the property for a long term plan with flexibility to add athletic fields or buildings when appropriate and resources exist.
“They’re developing a long term final plan,” Grossman said. “They will lay out possibilities for us whether for a soccer field or academic building.” Blocks will be set aside for some of these purposes. “That is necessary to know we have places for (infrastructure).”
As the needs arise the campus will be ready to accommodate them if everything goes according to plan, according to Grossman.