From new playgrounds to new stadiums, enhanced security systems and cool air conditioning units, many local school district facilities received upgrades over the summer in preparation for the new school year.
The East Aurora School District took on the most ambitious project, but one that will be visible to students and community members alike, said Tom Jackson, School District 131’s Public Relations Officer.
“East Aurora High School will have a much different look, including 20 new classrooms, a new fine arts wing, an enhanced cafeteria, and a stadium complex that will support athletics, marching band and physical education,” Jackson said of the improvements.
He also noted that a substantial effort was made over the summer to repair, improve and upgrade middle and elementary school facilities.
These endeavors include roof repairs, parking lot repairs, tuck pointing, and other much needed work to make the district’s buildings water tight
“Our middle schools will also have a new science lab that will enable teachers to implement laboratory based science instruction, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards,” Jackson said.
According to Indian Prairie School District 204 Executive Director of Communication Services, Janet Buglio, District 204’s students will stay cool all year long, thanks to improvements made to district facilities over the summer.
“In addition to the usual summer prep of schools and classrooms, the big project was the next phase of installing air conditioning in 19 of our elementary schools,” Buglio said. The $1.7 million project comes in addition to newly installed main door camera entry security systems at all district schools.
“These are higher quality cameras replacing existing equipment,” she said.
More exciting for students than security equipment, Community Unit School District 308 students attending Old Post Elementary School are in the process of getting new playground equipment.
According to Theresa Komitas, director of communications and public relations for the district, the board approved the removal and replacement of the kindergarten and elementary playground. Komitas said work has started on the project, but it is expected to be completed later this fall.
District-wide parking lot repairs, including various sealcoating, patching and crack-filling was completed at Lakewood Creek, Fox Chase, Prairie Point, The Wheatlands, Homestead, Churchill, Southbury, Grande Park, Hunt Club, Traughber, Plank, Murphy, Oswego East High School, and Oswego High School.
Yorkville Community Unit School District 115 had a fairly easy summer. The high school tennis courts were resurfaced, as well as a parking lot that had been riddled with pot holes, according to Pat Browne, director of facilities and operations.
“We did not have a tremendously large new project list as far as remodeling or additions,” Browne explained. He said the district is in the process of hiring a new architect, which stunted improvements.
Still, there was plenty of behind-the-scenes work to be done, he said.
Building maintenance, painting and equipment improvements all play a critical role in student comfort.
Looking forward, Browne said facility roofs need to be replaced and more parking lot resurfacing is expected to be completed.
“This year it was a very light season. We had some minor remodel work, but nothing nearly as heavy as in past years,” he said.
— As summer winds down school construction work wraps up —