DuPage gives Dist. 202 permission to build new school
A $39 million project to build a new school in Lisle Unit District 202 is scheduled to begin next summer now that DuPage County officials have signed off on the plan.
The county board this week gave the district permission to construct the building that will replace two aging elementary schools, Tate Woods and Schiesher. The new two-story, 100,000-square-foot facility will be built on the former Meadows school site along Westview Lane.
"We are thrilled the county gave the green light to proceed ..." Superintendent Keith Filipiak said Wednesday in an email.
The district needed approval from the county, in part, because the school will be larger than the 54-year-old building that's currently on the property. The school will serve up to 770 prekindergarten through fifth-graders.
Talk of replacing Tate Woods and Schiesher dates to 2015, when the district held a series of public meetings as part of its Vision 202 community engagement process.
Children attend either Tate Woods or Schiesher depending on their grade. Tate Woods is for prekindergarten and first- and second-grade students; Schiesher has kindergartners and third- though fifth-graders.
Both Tate Woods and Schiesher are aging buildings that need expensive renovations, officials said. For example, the HVAC systems, roofs and parking lots would need to be replaced.
The Meadows building was constructed in 1963 and decommissioned as a public school nearly 30 years ago. The park district used it for about 23 years and a math and science academy has been renting it for the past six years.
Work on the project is expected to begin after the academy moves out. Starting in early June, the Meadows building will be demolished and the site will be prepared.
Construction is expected to start in fall 2018 and end in summer 2019.
"The decision to build a new elementary school was made with great care and consideration for our students, staff and community," Filipiak said. "Our district is very pleased with the progress toward making the new elementary school building a reality for the 2019-20 school year."
Plans call for it to have 35 classrooms, including some specifically designed for kindergarten and preschool. There also will be STEM rooms, conference rooms and a learning resource center.
"At this point," Filipiak said, "we are at the final stages of designing a learning environment that will serve both our elementary students and community for generations to come."
Because District 202 will be debt-free in 2019, the plan is to borrow roughly $18 million to help pay for the project. The district already has the rest of the money.
School board members eventually will have to decide the fate of Tate Woods and Schiesher. Options include tearing them down, selling them or repairing and leasing them.