District 30 breaks ground on $15.5-million school projects
A groundbreaking ceremony, held outside Wescott School in Northbrook last week, marked the beginning of work for an addition of a gymnasium and eight classrooms for the K-5 school.
Enrollment growth has prompted the Northbrook/Glenview District 30 to increase capacity at Wescott, 1820 Western Ave. Starting in June, Willowbrook School, 2500 Happy Hollow Road, Glenview, will also be renovated as part of the combined $15.5-million project, which is expected to be complete prior to the Sept. 2 start of the new school year.
"We will see our vision take shape before our eyes over the next five months," said District 30 Superintendent Brian Wegley. "We cannot wait for our students and staff to benefit from this work, as we re-establish Wescott as the K-5 neighborhood school, and reconfigure space at Willowbrook."
Enrollment at the two schools during the 2016-17 school year was 716 students and is projected to increase to 807 by the 2023-24 school year, according to data provided by the district. Enrollment for the 2019-20 school year was 779 students.
In a fall 2019 board report, Wegley stated that, in 2007, the district faced overcrowding at Wescott, and with space available at Willowbrook, a Kindergarten Center was created at the Glenview school, which combined all District 30 kindergarten students in one building. With the completion of additions at Wescott, kindergarten will be return to Wescott, creating a "neighborhood school philosophy."
That move will free up additional classroom space at Willowbrook, and areas of the building will be reconfigured, including the Library Media Center and the Student Services Suite. Wescott's LMC will also be renovated, and the drop-off lane will be extended to improve safety, according to the district.
"The project for which we will break ground today will have a profound impact in District 30," Wescott School Principal Chris Brown said. "(This project will) pull learning out of our hallways, and give us a gym that will hold our entire student body and their parents for all of the great events we do here at Wescott."