GLEN ELLYN – A District 41 task force has recommended the district move forward with a $15 million project to build 10 new classrooms at Hadley Junior High School along with a $21.5 million project to modify the district's four elementary schools to accommodate all-day kindergarten and address building deficiencies.
The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Facilities Task Force presented its report at the April 25 Board of Education meeting. The full report can be found on the district's website at d41.org.
Task force Co-chairmen Lori Taylor and Tom Voltaggio presented the report. The task force's mission was to create a long-term solution that would eliminate the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley. The group also studied how the district could provide space for all-day kindergarten if it is implemented and address deficiencies at each of its schools.
School board members are set to discuss the task force's recommendations at their May 9 meeting. The group recommended an estimated $15 million project to construct 10 new classrooms at Hadley, with an option to add two additional classrooms and a new cafetorium (combination cafeteria and auditorium). The cafetorium would include a warming kitchen and a performance stage.
The school's current cafeteria would be remodeled into science labs and classrooms. The project also includes remodeling the school's pods into classrooms, music rooms and flexible space.
The task force also recommended an estimated $21.5 million solution to modify the elementary schools to add the necessary space to accommodate all-day kindergarten and address building deficiencies. Group members suggested long-term modifications to the schools to facilitate future program and enrollment modifications.
Long-term modifications could include the reconstruction of the rotunda at Abraham Lincoln School or the reconfiguration of the diamond wing at Churchill School, according to the group's report.
In arriving at solutions for the district's elementary schools, Voltaggio said the task force took note of the importance neighborhood schools have in the village.
"Neighborhood schools are kind of the foundation of what the community is about," he said. "There are strong sentiments in the community about neighborhood schools."
In addressing the Board of Education, task force member Jeff Cooper said he was in favor of less costly solutions.
"Before you come to us for more money, you need to do a better job with what you already have," Cooper said.
Solutions that were rejected included constructing an early learning center or kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school at the old Spalding School site. Spalding School was closed in 1978 because of declining enrollment, and it was demolished in 1997.
Reconstructing all four elementary schools at their current locations at an estimated cost of $120 million to incorporate all-day kindergarten, address enrollment fluctuations and provide the flexibility to accommodate current and future program requirements also was rejected.