Back to top


Owner Maine Township High School District 207
Architect Wight & Company
Lead Engineers Elara Engineering

Pepper gets an A+ on multi-year renovation of three schools

In 2018, Maine Township High School District 207 developed a Master Facility Plan to address educational and facility needs at Maine East, Maine South and Maine West High Schools. The proposed renovations would make schools safer, improve accessibility, extend the life of the buildings and create classrooms that would allow more flexibility to meet the needs of today’s student learning environment. To achieve their goals, District 207 proposed a $195 million bond to be placed on the November 2018 ballot.

The Construction Syllabus

Maine Township had plans for renovations across all three schools. Through our preconstruction process, Pepper provided "good," "better" and "best" options for material selections. Because of the size of the project, a slight modification to the ceiling tile selection, for example, amounted to significant savings. Decisions like this early in the process resulted in significant savings and the money was reallocated to make further improvements. The main goals of the master plan included the following:

  • Each school would receive upgrades.
  • Common areas and cafeterias would be renovated and reconfigured to give students a modern “college feel.”
  • A staggered schedule for pool renovations was developed ensuring that students at all three schools could participate in year-round aquatic sports.
  • Because of the cost savings, summer work was added for 2023. The auditoriums at Maine East and Maine South received significant facelifts, and the pool at Maine East was renovated.

“Nobody likes a pop quiz – or unforeseen conditions”

Maine East is the oldest of the schools, but it was important to save the historic feel on all three campuses while at the same time bringing modern learning environments and amenities to each. Once renovations started, unforeseen conditions popped up and problem solving became a daily to-do.

Summer School!

Throughout the project, students from the district interned on the job each summer, with an additional intern during the school year at both Maine East and Maine South. The Pepper Team took a “coaching” approach, introducing them to careers in construction while providing a little life advice along the way. Daily schedules included helping with punch lists, taking project photos and walking the sites.

Graduating with honors!

When we began construction in 2020, we were ready for the challenge of a multi-year high school renovation on an active campus. We also knew the best way to end strong was to start strong. Not only did we deliver the original scope on schedule, we also delivered additional improvements on each campus. Walking into any of the schools feels like entering a new building – the spaces are almost unrecognizable. Seeing the schools activated and the excitement of everyone on campus gives us a sense of pride! Pepper Project Executive Lisa Koeune has been at Maine South for as long as some of the students, perhaps she should be able to call the school her alma mater too!