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LT renovation plans would brighten cafeteria

Published: Friday, June 21, 2013 7:34 p.m. CDT
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(Alex Ruppenthal - aruppenthal@shawmedia.com)
A new cafeteria included in potential renovation plans for Lyons Township High School's North Campus would have rows of windows opening up to the existing courtyard.

LA GRANGE – Renovations to both campuses of Lyons Township High School that could start next summer will be similar in scope to the $17.8 million in changes that began a decade ago, LT officials said.

DLA Architects presented renovation drafts June 17 at a District 204 School Board meeting. A highlight of the renovations, which would be funded by a bond issue, is transforming the North Campus cafeteria into a more open space that would include a wall of windows next to the building's courtyard. 

"It's very dark, not a lot of natural light," LT spokeswoman Jennifer Bialobok said of the current cafeteria.

Renovations would relocate the kitchen and join three existing cafeteria rooms by removing certain walls. An existing wall adjacent to the courtyard would be replaced by either one or two rows of windows to let in natural light.

The plan also includes a major change for the South Campus, which would get a new main entrance "so that when visitors come into the building, they come into an office setting that's a controlled environment as opposed to directly [entering] the school," Bialabok said.

LT officials discussed ways to improve security at the school's main entrance earlier this year.

The district will continue to discuss renovation plans, none of which have been finalized, at a Facilities Committee meeting June 25. School officials have been touring other area schools to gain input for the renovations.

Potential renovations at North Campus include:

• Reber Center: Removal of a portion of the front of the stage to make way for an orchestra pit. Also, acoustic improvements.

• West Field: Grass would be replaced on the middle of three soccer fields with artificial turf. The field is used for physical education classes, but must be avoided when it rains. The turf would also allow more community events on the field.

• Locker rooms: Current locker rooms would be replaced.

South Campus

• Tennis courts: Repair of courts, which are buckling in some spots, and add space for spectators. 

Both campuses

• Roofing: Sections of roofing would be replaced.

• Science labs: Eight science labs would be renovated.

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