Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

The front entrance of Evanston Township High School underwent significant construction during the summer of 2013, ushering in the school year with a newly designed front entrance along Dodge Ave. A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 4 celebrated the redesign on the eve of Homecoming weekend.

Established in 1883 in a structure at Dempster and Elmwood, ETHS moved to its present building in 1924.  Wings were added in 1967 to accommodate a projected enrollment of 6,000 students. The new outdoor space, the result of the school’s collaboration with architects, landscapers and garden clubs, is not only welcoming, but practical and environmentally conscious. Design elements such as an identifying school sign, widened sidewalks and increased lighting make everyday use of the campus more user-friendly during the day and provide an additional level of security in the evening. Similar features were incorporated into the auditorium entrance area along Dodge Avenue to facilitate access to building for public events.

The “greening” of the high school was a major consideration in the redesign. The addition of 14 trees, 165 shrubs and 951 perennials as well as sod creates an arboretum effect at the front of the building that reduces the carbon footprint of the school and aligns with the goal to make Evanston one of the greenest cities in the U.S. – one of the “ten ideas” that celebrate the City’s 150th anniversary with community-wide initiatives.

“We are very pleased that the design by Dan Dalziel maintained the architectural integrity of this historic building and incorporated many of the visual elements which make ETHS such a unique landmark in the Evanston community,” remarked William Stafford, ETHS chief financial officer, who helped oversee the project.

“We have received a very positive response from our Wildkit families during these first opening weeks of school, and we are thrilled that ETHS now has an inviting student commons front entrance that complements its amazing structure,” stated Eric Witherspoon, ETHS District 202 Superintendent.