Glen Ellyn District 41 task force: Build Hadley addition

 
 
Updated 4/26/2016 9:51 AM
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  • Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 is considering replacing the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley Junior High with brick-and-mortar classrooms.

      Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 is considering replacing the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley Junior High with brick-and-mortar classrooms. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

Members of a Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 task force have endorsed a $15 million proposal to remove portable classrooms and build an addition at Hadley Junior High School.

The majority of the group's 30 core members also favor a $21.5 million project that would add space to elementary schools to house proposed full-day kindergarten classes and make other building improvements.

Nine months after the committee of parents and taxpayers began meeting to study the future of the district's schools, the co-chairs, Lori Taylor and Tom Voltaggio, unveiled a 40-page report to the school board Monday that shows how they developed their recommendations.

The report does not address how to fund the proposed projects, but the district's construction manager estimated costs.

Also unclear is whether the district would seek voter approval to turn the recommendations into reality. The school board made few comments Monday, but plans to continue discussing the report May 9.

"Do we do it in different phases? Do we do it as a whole? That's what the board will need to grapple with over the next few months," Superintendent Paul Gordon said.

The report also gives no construction timeline, but task force members are "really interested in seeing something that can roll out and be put in place within the next five years," Voltaggio said.

In recent years, the district has spent roughly $15 million to remove portable units and replace them with brick-and-mortar classrooms at its four elementary schools.

At Hadley, five options evaluated by the committee would remove the final 10 portables in the district and improve bus lanes. The estimated costs of the projects range from $6.6 million to $15 million.

But about 60 percent of committee members backed the $15 million proposal, calling for 10 new classrooms with an option for two more and a new space that doubles as a cafeteria and an auditorium. The project also would remodel the existing cafeteria into science labs and classrooms and add storage, among other upgrades.

That conclusion was reached after members scored options against a number of "desirable" and mandatory criteria. Keeping students on campus during construction fell into the latter category.

Enrollment in kindergarten, meanwhile, could vary each year, but the district expects roughly 400 to 450 students to attend a full-day program, Gordon said.

Task force members opposed constructing a new building to house such a program at the so-called Spaulding site. Instead, they want kindergartners to go the "neighborhood" school they would attend as elementary students.

The full report can be viewed online at D41.org.

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