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updated: 6/24/2014 5:20 AM

Official: Renovated Carpentersville school 'a work of art'

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  • Chuck Bumbales, assistant superintendent of operations for Community Unit District 300, leads a tour through the district's old Carpentersville administration building, which is being converted into a school for Oak Ridge School. For 17 years, the alternative school was housed nearby in about a dozen trailers.

       Chuck Bumbales, assistant superintendent of operations for Community Unit District 300, leads a tour through the district's old Carpentersville administration building, which is being converted into a school for Oak Ridge School. For 17 years, the alternative school was housed nearby in about a dozen trailers.
    Lenore Adkins | Staff Photographer

 
 

Community Unit District 300 officials on Monday showed off the progress they've made thus far in converting their former Carpentersville headquarters into Oak Ridge School.

Up until last school year, Oak Ridge students had spent 17 years learning in about a dozen trailers.

Workers have completely gutted the inside of the former headquarters and officials marveled at the open, empty spaces that once housed district employees.

"I'm very impressed -- it's a work of art to take it from what it was to make it to what it is now," board member Susie Kopacz said after the tour. " ... No parent wants their children to be educated in trailers. Having a building, brick and mortar, it's the right thing to do. I'm glad we could do that for those students. They should not be slighted in any way."

The district demolished the trailers earlier this month, and officials are on track to complete the project by July 26, said Chuck Bumbales, assistant superintendent of operations. He led the tour Monday evening.

Officials hope to begin priming and painting the walls Wednesday.

"In the last two weeks, it's really taken shape," Bumbales said.

Oak Ridge is an alternative school for students in sixth through 12th grade.

The new facility will have 10 classrooms, each of which can hold 13 students for a maximum of 130 students at the school, Bumbales said.

Seventeen to 20 teachers and staff members would work at the school, though not all classrooms will be filled immediately, he said.

The number of students and staff members fluctuates more than at the other schools because the goal is for the kids to return to the original school that referred them to Oak Ridge, he said.

This project has been in the works for quite a while.

Earlier this year, the district sold the property that housed the trailers to the Children's Home and Aid Society, which will build a preschool on the site. The sale closed for $750,000.

District staff members from the old Carpentersville headquarters temporarily relocated to Hampshire High School. They will then move into a new administration building of their own near Jacobs High School in Algonquin, a project that should be completed by December, officials have said.

The administration building costs $3.9 million, while the Oak Ridge renovation project costs around $1.4 million, officials said.

• Daily Herald staff writer Lauren Rohr contributed to this report.

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