Winnetka, News

NSCD sends Mac Gym out in style

Renovations now underway, reopening planned for December

(Correction: This story originally contained inaccurate information related to North Shore Country Day’s athletic fields and its athletics project. The Record recognizes and regrets these errors.)

It was the showdown before the teardown at North Shore Country Day on Thursday, Jan. 10.

The school held a basketball skills competition between staff and students for what turned out to be the final event prior to Mac Gym’s major renovation project. The Dunk Alzheimer’s Basketball Bash scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13, had to be postponed until Feb. 3.

The gym is being renovated to improve accessibility, security and fire protection, while also modernizing the HVAC systems, as previously reported by The Record. The new space will also include a state-of-the-art fitness center and training room for student-athletes.

During a groundbreaking ceremony, (left to right) Athletic Director Patrick McHugh, senior Leif Steele, senior Kate Henry, freshman Alexia Conine, senior Carissa Shultz, sophomore Callie Zhou, freshman Abigail Hardy, Head of School Tom Flemma, junior Charlie Ver Eecke, eight-grader Kendall Phillips, seventh-grader Sophia Storino, seventh-grader Porter Hilton and Director of Operations Cindy Hooper.

“When students feel included, engaged, and healthy both physically and emotionally, they learn more effectively, resulting in higher levels of achievement and satisfaction,” says a press release from the school. “As JK-12 wellness becomes ever more central to the school’s educational approach, its learning spaces must evolve to better serve the school’s programming.”

The addition to and renovation of Mac Gym will cost up to $13 million, according to school officials. The school originally hoped to begin construction by August, but Head of School Tom Flemma has said the work was contingent on fundraising of up to $7 million.

The project is expected to be complete by Dec. 1, and officials hope the gym will open for use when students return from Thanksgiving break on Dec. 2.

A view of the proposed Mac Gym renovation and addition from Green Bay Road. | IMAGE FROM KAHLER SLATER

In the meantime, the athletics office will utilize the lower level of the upper school building and indoor sports will use the west gym. The parking lot on the lower level of the garage has also been converted into reserved parking spaces for athletic equipment, visitor parking, and contractors.

There will also be some changes to the parking and traffic patterns around the gym. The tennis courts were converted into temporary parking lots, and the upper school parking lot will also have some reserved parking spaces for faculty, staff and contractors.

A second phase of athletic renovations — which would include a 24,000-square-foot addition and demolition of Leicester Hall (administration offices), its outdoor swimming pool and a pair of student parking spaces, according to previous reporting — will be considered once funding is complete for Phase 1.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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