School Sound Insulation Program

The O'Hare School Sound Insulation Program (SSIP) is the largest of its kind in the world. The goal of the program, which began in 1982, is to equitably deliver sound insulation funding to area schools most in need of noise mitigation.

O'Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, in cooperation with the Chicago Department of Aviation, oversees the program that has invested more than $350 million in school sound insulation. Both design and construction grants to schools are reimbursed 80 percent by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) using Airport Improvement Program funds while the city of Chicago reimburses the remaining 20 percent using approved airline passenger facility charges and other approved revenue sources.

Schools apply to the program and are selected for noise testing based on several established criteria, including proximity to the airport. Selected schools are tested during a four-day period when maximum aircraft activity is expected. Three individual noise monitors used at each school measure exterior noise levels, noise levels with classroom windows closed, and noise levels with classroom windows open.

2011 School Noise Monitoring Report  

The School Sound Insulation Program ranks tested schools based on the "windows-open" noise levels, which is consistent with the FAA guidelines. As funding becomes available, schools are selected for sound insulation construction work based on that ranking.

Last School to Begin Sound Insulation Construction
Ebinger Elementary School in Chicago, the last of 124 schools qualified for sound insulation within the O'Hare Modernization Program's build-out noise contour, received $6 million in construction grants from the FAA and city of Chicago in September 2014. The school previously received $468,750 in grants to cover architectural and engineering costs. read more

Other Recent Projects
Sound insulation construction for Farnsworth and St. Tarcissus elementary schools, both in Chicago, was finished in September 2014 at a total cost of $9.3 million. read more

Ridgewood High School in Norridge finished its $25 million renovation and sound insulation construction projects in 2013. read more

Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village completed sound insulation in October 2012 at a cost of $15.6 million. read more