|Oct. 12 meeting recap (Posted Oct. 14)
D41 has been working with the community for more than a year to solve its space issues.
D41 has nearly 340 students housed in portables or at the Glen Ellyn Park District
D41 is expecting continued enrollment growth, further stretching its facilities.
At all schools, students are receiving instruction in hallways and converted offices, closets and other spaces
D41 is out of space. At the Oct. 12 Community Forum on student facilities, FGM Architects and the Facilities Task Force reported on their progress toward solutions to the overcrowding. The Task Force is basing its planning on maintaining current class sizes, which are approximately 23 for grades K-3, 25 for grades 4-5, and up to 28 for grades 6-8. Under study are the following options, which range in cost from $3.2 million to $24 million:
For even more options information click here
- Add more portable classrooms
- Build a new elementary school
- Build a 5-6 grade center. The Task Force reported on its site visits and calls to area 5-6 grade centers, noting that such a solution was viable from both curricular and space standpoints.
But there is more to the issue. In response to concerns by the Task Force that new space alone would not solve the problem, FGM studied the way space is currently being used in each building and said it would cost a total of $5.3 million to renovate all five schools to make space for teaching activities that are currently being delivered in hallways, closets and temporary spaces carved out of libraries, even if new space is added. These activities include things like special education, small-group instruction, Bilingual education, and work space for specialists and social workers. The renovations to existing space would not increase the number of students each school could hold, but would provide adequate space for current programs. FGM stated that the district may elect to do these renovations in addition to adding new space.
At present, the only site available for a new building is a vacant 5-acre parcel (the Spalding site) located in the northeast quadrant of the district, although the administration is investigating acquisition options. Board Members expressed appreciation for the Task Force’s work and reiterated their commitment to finding the best solution for educational needs.
Important dates in the space planning process:
- A new enrollment study will be presented to the Board of Education at its Monday, Oct. 18 meeting.
- The Task Force is on schedule to deliver its recommendation at the Nov. 15 Board of Education meeting.
- The Board expects to vote on the recommendation at the Dec. 13 Board of Education meeting.
- If the adopted recommendation exceeds district financial resources, the district could go for referendum as early as April, 2005.