District 102 in Buffalo Grove gets input on expansion scenarios

 
By Andrew Marshall
Daily Herald correspondent
Updated 12/7/2016 5:55 PM
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Officials with Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 are collecting feedback this week from residents on how to address overcrowding as enrollment has jumped 300 students to 2,300 in the last five years, with further growth on the horizon due to new construction.

The most important concern confronting the schools at the moment is "creating space for our buildings, which are at capacity," Superintendent Lori Wilcox said at the initial meeting Tuesday. "That is what is driving all of this; in our two elementary schools, we are completely out of space." 

The group was in agreement on the need to expand, and three scenarios propose doing that by adding onto the current buildings, instead of starting from scratch with a new building. The district has four schools in Buffalo Grove: two early childhood through grade 4, one for grades 5 and 6, and one for grades 7 and 8. Early estimates are that expansion could cost $19 million to $38 million, depending on which option is chosen and the details incorporated in final plans.

The district, which has been researching and studying the issues in about 50 meetings over the last 15 months, has identified key values, including maintaining low student-to-teacher ratios; finding a fiscally-responsible, long-term solution; minimizing the impact on the staff and community; maintaining neighborhood schools; not putting all grades in one building; and minimizing transitions between buildings as students age.

In the first scenario, which would involve a major addition to Meridian, students through grade 3 would attend Pritchett and Tripp, students in grades 4-6 would attend Meridian, and students in grades 7-8 would attend Aptakisic.

In the second scenario, which would require a major addition to Aptakisic, students through grade 3 would attend Pritchett and Tripp, students in Grades 4 and 5 would attend Meridian, and students in grades 6-8 would attend Aptakisic.

In the third scenario, which would require a major addition at Meridian and major renovations at Aptakisic, students through grade 5 would be housed at Pritchett, Tripp and Aptakisic, which students in grades 6-8 would attend Meridian. This scenario is the most expensive.

The third community meeting is 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at the district office, 1231 Weiland Road. The school board hopes to decide which route to pursue in January.

"We're coming toward the end," Public Relations Coordinator Vicki Walter said. "The architects will be working with one thing not four or five that they did initially."

More information is at www.district102.org.

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