Carol Stream Dist. 93 to renovate school library, entrance

Posted1/9/2015 5:30 AM
  • The current Elsie C. Johnson School library.

    The current Elsie C. Johnson School library. Courtesy of Carol Stream District 93

Carol Stream District 93 is moving forward with a project to renovate the library, front entrance, office area and roof of one of its elementary schools.

The project, which was authorized to proceed by the school board Thursday, will take place at Elsie C. Johnson School, and is slated to not exceed $4 million. Officials hope the renovations will enhance the school's security and the learning environment of its library.

The idea behind the renovations to the library is to "transform it into a 21st century learning environment," Superintendent Bill Shields said.

The library renovations include the installation of two large skylights to bring more light into the space and the placement of movable furniture that can be easily reconfigured to meet the needs of students and teachers.

There will also be learning areas in the corners of the library, with one of them including a movable glass wall to accommodate private study sessions.

Another major component of the school's renovations will be building out beneath the existing front overhang, creating a new front office with two security vestibules and a reception area, according to board documents.

The renovation work will also leave the school with a bigger staff lounge, additional storage space and a new professional staff library.

New roofing will also be implemented over parts of the school.

Although the board did generally support the project, some expressed a couple of concerns before voting.

Board Member Dick Boyer was concerned about the payback of the library project.

"Yeah it's nice to have skylights, yeah it's nice to have a 21st century learning center," Boyer said. "What's the return on investment for all that stuff?"

But board member Sean McQuade said he thinks the return is in the "eyes and the hearts" of students and morale of staff.

"We're looking to do this because it needs to be done," McQuade said. " ... You're going to get the satisfaction out of all the kids that go there, you're going to get satisfaction from staff."

The district is also discussing doing similar work at its other schools, Shields said.

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