There will be a number of projects occurring across the district this summer.
Both Riley and Field elementary schools will receive new playground equipment. According to Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, the playground at Field is being replaced due to age, functionality and the fact that there are items which can no longer be repaired due to parts being obsolete. The district will also remove the playground at the southeast end of the Field School property to create one larger playground for all students.
Riley’s playground is currently undersized for the student population. In addition, the new playground will enhance and incorporate more needs of the students at the school, including the educational life skills and deaf and hard of hearing programs.
Hawthorne Early Childhood Center will see a completed first floor hallway and classroom renovation, including a new ADA-accessible and Life Safety-compliant corridor with offices and a calming room. Its second floor will also be fully renovated for the Equity and Learning/Support Services teams, which are relocating from the Gill Administration Center at the end of the school year. This has been part of the district administration plan for enhanced collaboration to benefit student programs.
Whitman Elementary School is set to receive a new elevator. The current elevator is at the end of its life, according to DeBartolo.
Field Elementary School, Frost Elementary School, Kilmer Elementary School and London Middle School will each receive a new library and media center, part of the district’s ongoing project to update all of the school’s LMCs after successfully passing its referendum. The LMCs at Holmes Middle School, Poe Elementary School, Longfellow Elementary School and Whitman Elementary School are the four remaining to be updated, and are already scheduled for summer 2024. Field, Frost and Kilmer will receive new LED lights throughout the buildings to enhance the learning experience and save money based upon energy efficiency. London has already received such lighting improvements in the summer of 2021.
London, Tarkington Elementary School, Frost and Kilmer will also receive the final HVAC work to upgrade their heating and air conditioning systems. Upon completion of these upgrades, the district will be fully up to date for a project that started in 2019. Only secondary gymnasiums at the middle schools and multi purpose rooms at a handful of elementary schools still need air conditioning upgrades.
Frost, Kilmer and Field will receive new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms. Frost and Kilmer will receive new energy-efficient boilers, as well.
London is set to receive a new ramp that will replace its lift for maximized accessibility.
Finally, Tarkington will receive updated flooring, LED lighting and student restrooms for the half of the school that was not completed during construction in summer 2022.
The majority of these projects were approved by the board during the December 2022 meeting. The bulk of these projects were also approved with referendum funding, while others have been partially referendum funding and general funds.
Stay tuned as some other exciting projects are still under consideration.