Residents Can Learn, Question New Preschool Plans at Community Forums

District 200 will solicit feedback and answer questions about the district's capital development needs, including plans to rebuild Jefferson Early Childhood Center at community forums. Here is some background info on the plans before the first forum.

Community Unit School District 200 will kick off its series of four Monday at Jefferson Early Childhood Center. The forums will allow residents to ask questions about the district's capital developments, including plans to rebuild Jefferson Early Childhood Center, formerly Jefferson Preschool.

The forums will follow a bit of an open house format, with a brief presentation to attendees at the beginning, followed by optional tours of the building, tables with design details, board members to answer questions and other information on the district's capital development needs.

Confused? Here's what's happening:

A District 200 capital development committee has determined capital development needs in the district, with Jefferson topping the list as the facility most in need of renovation.

At a May board meeting, district staff, board members and representatives from Legat Architects discussed two $29 million options to rebuild Jefferson, the district's School Services Center ( and rehab, or sell, Woodland School, a district storage facility in Warrenville.

Legat representative Patrick Brosnan presented the following options to the board:

  • Option one: All facilities would remain at their current locations. The district would build a new Jefferson Early Childhood Center (ECC), the SSC would be expanded for a larger board room and additional storage. Woodland would be expanded for vehicle and technology storage.
  • Option two: Combines the SSC and the new Jefferson ECC in one building on the Jefferson property, with one wing of district offices on a second floor. The current SSC building would be expanded for vehicle maintenance and storage, and the district would sell Woodland School.
  • Or, the board could go with something totally different, based on community feedback.

Brosnan introduced in October. Two board members who served on a subcommittee on the project recommended option "two" to the board.

More background: The Early Childhood Center (ECC)

The proposed ECC would be a 62,000-square-foot facility located south of the current building. A parking lot with 147 spaces would front the new building in the current building's location along Manchester Road. Brosnan also proposed the addition of 41 parking spaces on Hazelton Avenue.

The ECC would include:

  • Twenty classrooms, including a speech classroom and a diagnostics classroom, a diagnostic team room and waiting room, 10 "pull-out" rooms, a motor room and nine bathrooms, totaling about 26,000 square feet
  • A media center, 1,700 square feet
  • "Large Motor Skills" area, including an indoor play space and storage for special needs equipment, 4,400 square feet
  • Administrative offices, approximately 6,000 square feet
  • "Warming kitchen," 320 square feet
  • Operations and maintenance space, staff and public toilets, 5,900 square feet

District 200 links:


  • According to a preliminary budget summary, the cost to build the ECC building would be about $18.3 million.
  • Option one, SSC expansion, would cost about $6 million, and the work at Woodland School would cost about $5.4 million
  • Option two, a facility that combines the SSC offices and the ECC would cost about $24.7 million. The SSC expansion would cost about $5.3 million and the district could sell Woodland for about $500,000, according to Brosnan's presentation.

The community forums are scheduled for the following dates, at the Jefferson Early Childhood Center, 130 N. Hazelton, Wheaton:

  • Monday, Aug. 27, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 30, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sep. 4, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Sep. 10, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Who's who? Here are some of the main players:

The district's Community Engagement Committee consists of Superintendent Dr. Brian Harris; Erica Loiacono, director of public relations (RSVP contact); Bill Farley, assistant superintendent for business operations; Joanne Panopoulos, assistant superintendent for student services; Stephanie Farrelly, principal at Jefferson and board members Andy Johnson and Jim Vroman.

The District 200 Board of Education includes Rosemary Swanson, board president; Barbara Intihar, vice president; Joann Coghill; Jim Gambaiani; Andy Johnson; Ken Knicker; and Jim Vroman.

Legat Architects is the architecture firm the district is using for the project. At a May board meeting Legat representative Patrick Brosnan presented for the new Jefferson.

ECRA Group is the consulting firm the to conduct community surveys (so, they might call you) and assist with the community forums.

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