'A community space': New District 21 administration building will include health clinic

  • Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building overshadows its old one on Dundee Road in Wheeling.

      Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building overshadows its old one on Dundee Road in Wheeling. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Local politicians, construction managers and architects were among those present Saturday for the ribbon cutting of Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building in Wheeling.

      Local politicians, construction managers and architects were among those present Saturday for the ribbon cutting of Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building in Wheeling. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • New cubicles and meeting tables are in place at Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building, which is just across the parking lot from the old district office attached to London Middle School in Wheeling.

      New cubicles and meeting tables are in place at Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building, which is just across the parking lot from the old district office attached to London Middle School in Wheeling. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • A 3,000-square-foot space on the first floor of Wheeling Township District 21's new administration building will be built out in the coming months as a community health center.

      A 3,000-square-foot space on the first floor of Wheeling Township District 21's new administration building will be built out in the coming months as a community health center. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • The Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office is at 959 W. Dundee Road in Wheeling.

      The Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office is at 959 W. Dundee Road in Wheeling. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building is next to its 1960s-era Gill Administration Center on Dundee Road in Wheeling.

      Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building is next to its 1960s-era Gill Administration Center on Dundee Road in Wheeling. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • A dedication plaque is in place at the entrance to Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building, as a video featuring Superintendent Michael Connolly is shown nearby.

      A dedication plaque is in place at the entrance to Wheeling Township Elementary District 21's new administration building, as a video featuring Superintendent Michael Connolly is shown nearby. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/24/2023 7:28 PM

Boosted by a recently appropriated $1 million federal earmark and a $1 million anonymous donation, Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 has opened its new, $16 million administration building that will double as a community health clinic.

The three-story, 40,000-square-foot building at 959 W. Dundee Road in Wheeling overshadows the district's cramped, 1960s-era Gill Administration Center attached to London Middle School just across the parking lot.

 

The new building is the first to open in the 11.5-acre London Crossing development, which will include 11 townhouse buildings containing 55 units, a potential free-standing restaurant and commercial space.

The district plans to renovate the back half of the old Gill building for student support services and equity staff and to tear down the front for green space.

While a ribbon cutting was held Saturday and the first school board meeting last Thursday, the school-based health center won't be open until the start of next school year, officials said.

Currently a 3,000-square-foot concrete box on the first floor, the medical office will provide physicals, immunizations, and other physician services to students, and eventually their families, district staff and residents. A request for proposals sent to potential operators is due back at the end of the month, and the school board is expected to ink a contract in March before the build out begins.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

A $1 million grant secured by U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider in the recently approved 2023 omnibus funding bill will go toward those construction costs, as it is a federally qualified health center.

The $1 million gift previously announced in July from an undisclosed family foundation will go to build-out and startup costs.

"One of the things I think is no surprise to anybody is the amazing need for support services and the lack of access that many members of our community experience," Superintendent Michael Connolly said.

"Say I've got a kindergartner who has conjunctivitis and they can't get into see a primary care doctor or they don't have a primary care doctor to see. They continue to miss school while they're healing. Having the ability to have that child come straight over here, be seen and get what they need before they walk out the door gets them back into school just that much quicker so that they can continue learning."

Also on the first floor, OMNI Youth Services will occupy some small and large group rooms for mental health therapy, and the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization will operate a library for visually impaired and deaf/hard of hearing students.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Other service providers are expected to be in the mix for job training classes and senior tax help, while the third-floor boardroom and classrooms would be available for teacher training meetings and public rentals. Most of the administrative offices are on the second floor.

"We're looking to make sure we maximize use of the space for the community. Because we built it with community funds, we see it as a community space," said Micheal DeBartolo, the district's assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

The $16 million cost is less than earlier budget estimates of $17 million and $18 million. The all-in price includes the construction cost and $2.1 million land purchase from Mount Prospect-based Wingspan Development Group, which is developing the London Crossing project. Wingspan's sister company, Nicholas & Associates, is the construction manager on District 21 capital projects, including the new administration building.

Besides the donations, the district is paying for it all with $5 million in reserves and $11 million in debt certificates to be paid back over 15 years. DeBartolo said the district's growing reserves -- not local property taxes -- would be used to pay off that debt.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.