Groundbreaking at Holmes and Westview Hills
Maercker School District 60 held a groundbreaking ceremony for two of its schools Wednesday evening to celebrate the additions and renovations of Holmes Primary School in Clarendon Hills and Westview Hills Middle School in Willowbrook.
After a ceremonial groundbreaking photo session outside of Holmes, Maercker students, parents, staff, board members and administration gathered at Westview Hills for a short presentation in the gymnasium followed by the ceremonial groundbreaking outside. The night concluded with a reception, complete with pizza and cake, in the Westview cafeteria.
The renovations and additions at the schools comes after a two-year community engagement process. According to Superintendent Sean Nugent, “Students, teachers, parents and community members all played a critical role in identifying what learning spaces were needed.” The district placed a $28 million referendum question on the March 2018 ballot that was overwhelmingly approved by district voters. Board of Education President Lisa Bishop shared, “We are grateful to our community who supports children, values education and trusts us to be fiscally responsible with their tax dollars.”
Holmes Primary School will see a two story addition constructed, allowing the pre-K and kindergarten programs to expand and grow. As a result, the district will begin offering full day kindergarten for the 2019-20 school year. The addition will also create an outdoor courtyard that can be used as a play area. Another major upgrade is the enclosure of all classrooms. The current first and second grade classrooms are separated by partial walls that do not have doors or extend all the way to the ceiling. After the renovations, all classrooms will be enclosed, improving the educational experience and helping students be more focused. The renovations will also help keep each grade level together as opposed to mixing the first and second grade classrooms, as second grade will take up the new second floor.
At Westview Hills, an addition containing three science labs will be constructed. The school’s elective spaces such as art, STEM, FACS and band will be completely renovated. Currently in an open space accessible from the front entrance, the cafeteria will be revamped into a more secure, enclosed cafeteria/auditorium space. Like at Holmes, current open classrooms will be enclosed to enhance both the learning environment and safety.
The project will be complete by the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The buildings were designed by Arcon Associates and construction is being managed by Gilbane Building Company.