Fenwick High School has received a $3 million donation from former student Michael R. Quinlan to build a new parking garage.
The 300-space garage is part of a larger redevelopment plan the school announced in 2015, which includes reorienting the entrance of the school to face Madison Street and building a new band room, choir room and cafeteria.
The garage will be constructed on two parcels of land where two residential buildings are set to be demolished this summer.
Fenwick made headlines a few weeks ago when it took its proposal to the Oak Park Zoning Board of Appeals to raze the buildings and construct a temporary surface parking lot while it continues its fundraising efforts for the parking structure.
Zoning Administrator Michael Bruce confirmed that the ZBA approved that proposal, which now goes to the Oak Park Board of Trustees for final approval.
Quinlan is a Fenwick alumnus, graduating in 1962, and a former chairman of the board and CEO of the McDonald’s Corporation, taking the reins at McDonald’s as the second CEO of the business after Ray Kroc, according to a Fenwick press release.
“Fenwick High School placed me on a path to success for which I am eternally grateful,” Quinlan, 73, said in the press release. “As a Friar, I want to do my part to ensure future generations of Fenwick students have the same access to the high-quality, Dominican education I had.”
The press release notes that Quinlan’s mother worked as Kroc’s secretary, and Quinlan worked 25 hours a week in the McDonald’s mailroom. He rose up in the ranks to become CEO and is known for spearheading construction of the Ronald McDonald House for children in Maywood.
The garage is expected to be built by the summer of 2019.