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updated: 6/13/2012 5:08 PM

Butterfield school population, parking lot expanding

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The student population and the size of the parking lot at Butterfield School in Lombard Elementary District 44 both will be increasing come August.

The school board on Tuesday approved a $182,845 contract with Orange Crush LLC of Hillside to expand the parking lot in front of the school where a playground used to be.

"We're removing the old playground that's close to the street and making a turnaround for the preschool program so there is safe drop-off and pickup for the early childhood families," school board President Becky Kirsh said.

The district's early childhood program has been housed in an addition to the back of the school since January, 2011, bringing a crop of new students. Butterfield School's population is set to increase again when up to 72 students who had been attending Manor Hill will change schools because of a boundary shift approved in March.

During preliminary discussions of the boundary change, some Butterfield parents asked about the logistics of busing and driving dozens more students to the neighborhood school at 2S500 Gray Ave., in an unincorporated area near Lombard. A few parents said they were concerned about extra traffic and questioned what the district would do if the parking lot expansion was not completed in time.

Superintendent Jim Blanche said in March the additional students likely will bring only one more bus to Butterfield. He told parents the parking lot expansion would be complete before the next school year begins.

With the contract approved Tuesday, work should be complete by mid-August, before students begin their next year of school, said Patrick Egan, the district's facilities manager.

The playground already has been demolished, as it is no longer necessary after the district and the Butterfield Park District collaborated to build a new one behind the school last year. The next steps in expanding the parking lot are removing the wood chips and paving the area, Egan said.

Half of the new parking lot will occupy space formerly taken up by the playground, and the other half will come from repaving existing asphalt, Egan said.

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