ing with helical piers/steel columns driven as
much as 90 feet below ground.
Most importantly, the project benefits the students
and faculty. The school was built in 1959 and was
not outfitted to prevent outside noise from coming
into the classrooms. Class work suffered from frequent interruptions caused by aircraft noise, as well
as constant noise from wall-mounted heating and
cooling units. The upgrades to the school’s HVAC
system, roofing, walls and windows will provide a
quieter learning environment and an expected 25
percent reduction in energy costs.
“The sound insulation work that we are receiving is transforming the school,” said Dr. Robert
Lupo, superintendent, Ridgewood Community
High School District 234.
“Teachers will no longer have to interrupt
classes while airplanes fly over,” he said. “No
longer will we have to schedule testing to take
place in areas without windows so students
won’t be disturbed by frequent airplane noise.
The new windows and roofs will add security
and energy conservation, as well as sound insu-
lation. We are extremely grateful to the city of
Chicago, FAA and the ONCC for supporting
this effort and providing our students with an
improved learning environment.”
While the CDA’s residential and school sound
insulation programs at O’Hare have made great
strides forward, there is still much work to be done
as O’Hare’s airfield and air traffic patterns continue
to change under the OMP. Approximately 4,000
homes and six schools around O’Hare are slated
for sound insulation in the future. A
Amy Malick is deputy commissioner of sustainability at the
Chicago Department of Aviation. She can be reached at Amy.
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