GLEN ELLYN – Planning continues to move forward on the construction of a two-story addition to Hadley Junior High School and improvements to the main entryway at Churchill Elementary School.
Those plans were discussed during a public hearing Jan. 29. By a vote of 2,666 "yes" votes to 2,656 "no" votes – a 10-vote difference – voters in April 2017 approved a $24.2 million bond referendum.
The referendum will fund a two-story addition that will replace the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley and include a new music space. The referendum also will pay for infrastructure and roofing improvements at Hadley, as well as a bus lane on district property designed to reduce traffic congestion in the neighborhood. Americans with Disabilities Act entrances to the school's bathrooms also will be funded through the referendum.
"It will be a safer environment getting the buses off Glencoe Street and onto our property," Glen Ellyn School District 41 Superintendent Paul Gordon said.
A representative from architect firm Wight and Company said the intent is for the Hadley addition to closely match the building's architecture. Current parkway trees will be preserved, and there will be additional landscaping as part of the project, the representative said.
Work also will be done at the district's four elementary schools as part of the referendum, including ADA-accessible entrances to bathrooms, infrastructure and roof repair, and a secure entrance at Churchill.
During the hearing, Board of Education members addressed concerns about the possibility of bus traffic exiting onto Ashton Court. Wheaton officials have discussed potentially restricting access to minimize the amount of buses on residential streets. The bus lane has been sized to accommodate 18 buses, which will be double stacked.
Board President Stephanie Clark said she appreciated the concerns raised about buses exiting onto residential streets.
"We're trying to solve the issue of getting the buses off of the street, off of Glencoe, which just makes a huge nightmare for cars trying to move either way," she said. "As far as the issue of buses on the residential streets, that could be an issue regardless of whether we have the bus lane or not."
She said the school district is not proposing a change in its bus routes.
"I would hope that they would not try to stop this plan, which is not proposing any change to our routing or more traffic down the streets than what's already there," Clark said. "If that now has become a concern to them, then I hope they work with us with First Student on our routing, which is a completely separate issue than this."
Clark said the plan isn't to send buses down Ashton Court.
"We're not looking to change our routing as it exists," she said.