SOUTH LOOP — It took McCaffrey Interests months of back-and-forth with neighbors before settling on a design for Roosevelt Collection's forthcoming British School.
Now, a sudden merger between the school's parent company and another private school system has forced developers and architect Joseph Antunovich to go back to the drawing board and push back the opening date of the school.
But Ed Woodbury, president of the Roosevelt Collection's owners, McCaffery Interests, said the changes requested by World Class Learning Schools' new partner, Nord Anglia Education, won't affect plans to build a controversial rooftop park or other issues raised by the public about the project. That includes stair access on the building's west side and traffic patterns for parents, among other issues.
"With a new player involved, they've asked us and our architects to do some redesign in and around the building, so that's what we've been doing. That's what delayed the process — with the redesign, we couldn't start building the building as soon as the school needed it."
The new timeline calls for construction to start early next year, though McCaffrey hasn't set a date, anticipating the possible need to circle back with the city for new zoning approvals.
If all goes as planned, the first school year will kick off in fall 2015.
The changes requested by Nord Anglia are "largely interior stuff" with "some tweaks to the exterior, some minor changes that might occur.
"Everybody's got a different style of operating a school," Woodbury said.
"But the parks are still going to be there. The stairs will be exactly as we showed them. Some of the changes are just working through some of the details" established months ago, Woodbury said. "None of that stuff that was 'controversial' or [what] people objected to, none of those things are going to change in any way."