District 220 sets 'fun' special meeting on potential building projects
Potential facility needs will be the focus of a Barrington Area Unit District 220 special meeting later this month where the community can weigh in on ideas and see some student entertainment as a bonus.
"It's going to be a little bit different, but fun," District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris said.
At issue will be what's dubbed Blueprint 220, a long-term strategy being formed to provide recommendations on school renovations to meet today's education needs in part through spaces designed to spark innovation and creativity. The session is scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Barrington High School.
Speaking at a recent District 220 board meeting, Harris said the session will begin with a brief multimedia presentation in Barrington High's auditorium. That's to be followed by a high school student performance illustrating the potential building needs for sports, fine arts, future-ready learning environments and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"One of our drama classes is going to do the skits. ... The students are going to act out what a futuristic educational experience could be down the road based on those four areas we've identified as some of the learning and teaching priorities for our physical spaces," Harris said.
Visitors will move from the auditorium for a "gallery walk" through the high school. They'll get to see artist renderings of the possible building projects on the walk.
To cap off the evening, the crowd will be asked to gather in Barrington High's cafeteria to view screens with scrolling presentations on ideas for the elementary, middle and high schools. District 220 school board members plan to reserve time to receive feedback from residents in the open-format meeting.
Harris said exact costs have yet to be established, but one to five dollar signs will be assigned to the potential building renovations depicted at the meeting. District 220 board President Brian Battle said officials will need to examine cost-benefit ratios.
"As a wise board member once said, 'Is the juice worth the squeeze?'" Battle said.
Chicago-based DLR Group, an architecture consultant, has been assisting on Blueprint 220.
As part of the process, DLR has studied the physical condition of District 220's buildings and examined how they are used for education. DLR employees also followed students through their day and charted how much time they spent in classrooms and other areas and what they did there.