Community Unit School District 200 has scheduled four community forums, where community members can learn about the early childhood education services offered at Jefferson Early Childhood Center, formerly . The forums are part of the district's plans to rebuild the school, which has not been received renovations in over 15 years.
Throughout the year, the District 200 capital development committee looked at building needs in the district and identified Jefferson 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.
Brosnan introduced in October, and has worked with a board subcommittee and district staff to develop plans for the project.
A board subcommittee comprising Jim Vroman and Joann Coghill recommended "option two" to the board, after working with Jefferson staff, district administrators and Legat Architects to develop ideas for the ECC.
District 200 Superintendent Dr. Brian Harris said staff looked at a combination of options to provide to the board. "We could do any of them, we could do all of them, we could do none of them," he said.
Coghill said rebuilding Jefferson would create a better environment for the children and staff. "There's no question that we have to do Jefferson," she said.
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
According to a preliminary budget summary, the cost to build the ECC building would be about $18.3 million. The SSC expansion in option one would cost about $6 million and the work at Woodland School would cost about $5.4 million.
The cost to build a facility that combines the SSC offices and the ECC—option two—would be 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.
According to the district's Capital Development Plan, funding options for the project include the district's operations and maintenance funds, life safety bonds, performance contracting and a referendum.
Harris said the board could choose to use some, or all, of the $14.5 million the state paid District 200 this year for the 2003 Hubble referendum to pay for a new Jefferson.
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.
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