Mobile classrooms, building additions coming to District 25
Students at two Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 schools will have class in trailers starting this fall as the district works to address overcrowding.
The school board on Thursday approved $215,000 to purchase one mobile classroom each for Ivy Hill and Windsor elementary schools and the building of tunnels to connect the classrooms to the schools.
Each trailer will be about 1,600 square feet and separated into two classrooms that will be heated and cooled. The tunnels connecting to the schools will not have heating or cooling, but will protect students from the weather and outside elements as they go back to the main building for bathrooms and other classes, said Assistant Superintendent Stacey Mallek.
"It will be more permanent than just a canopy with walls. It's a completely enclosed-tunnel that will have lighting," Mallek said.
The company, Oswego-based Innovative Modular Solutions, could be at the district as early as next week to start putting down the foundations for the mobile classrooms at Ivy Hill and Windsor.
The mobile classrooms will address overcrowding in the two buildings while the district also embarks on an expansion project to address growing enrollment in several of its schools.
The district recently approved going out for $18 million worth of bonds for construction, about two-thirds of which will be used this year for expansions at Ivy Hill and Olive-Mary Stitt schools. Expansions to Windsor and Westgate could come the following year.
Ivy Hill will get an additional 10 classrooms; Olive will get five. Both schools will have new gymnasiums, new playgrounds and expanded common space.
Superintendent Lori Bein said construction will break ground by Oct. 1.
Bein said the bids for construction will also include air conditioning in the new gymnasiums at both buildings.
When District 25 added air conditioning to its buildings several years ago, they did not retrofit the gyms to add air conditioning because of the cost.
"It is much more cost-effective to add air-conditioning up front then to retrofit it later," Bein said. "We can at least make it more bearable for gym teachers and students who are trying to exercise in that space."
Plans for updates at Westgate and Windsor, which Bein said will be presented to the school board in the first six months of this school year, could also include new, air-conditioned gymnasiums.