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Close to 200 residents who attended a special Hawthorn Board of Education meeting this week were presented with two options to help address enrollment capacity issues in District 73’s schools and provide upgraded facilities for the future of education at Hawthorn.

Both options call for constructing a kindergarten center onto the Sullivan Center, bringing the early childhood program back to the Hawthorn campus, purchasing 11 acres of land across from Elementary School South, and building facilities so students can explore the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

The Hawthorn Core Team, which spent thousands of hours researching solutions to space constraints, recommends an option that would include the construction of a new elementary school, adding additions to all the schools for STEM, building a wing onto the Sullivan Center for kindergarten, and building additions to schools where additional space is needed for PE classes, music and art programs.

According to Consulting Demographer John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Hawthorn shows an increased enrollment by as much as 500 students in the next five years. Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years resulting in specials programs being taught in mobile classrooms, on a movable cart, and in the cafeteria and hallways.

At 7 p.m. Monday, December 12, District Office, 841 West End Ct, Vernon Hills, the Board is expected to discuss the options further and anticipates making a decision on one of the options.

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Architect Contract Approved

At its April meeting, the Hawthorn Board of Education authorized an architectural contract for DLR Group, of Chicago.

DLR Group estimates a 12 to 14 week process to develop an Educational Facility Master Plan for Hawthorn School District 73. That process will include analyzing the facilities, meeting with stakeholders, and developing proposals. As part of the master plan, the architectural team, administration and board members will include valuable input from parents, staff, students, and community members.

Once they have sufficient information, the architectural team will make proposals to resolve overcrowding and space constraints in the district’s six school buildings.

The Board of Education authorized DLR Group to consider new construction options and to reconfigure existing school space to alleviate overcrowding. Members agreed that the student teacher ratio goal should be 25:1 per classroom, which is the current number the district uses. Board members felt strongly that curriculum and the use of technology should inform how teachers use space in schools.

The board directed DLR Group to use enrollment projection numbers developed by John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Consulting Demographer, which show an increase by as much as 500 students in the next five years.

Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years. Hawthorn’s current enrollment of 4,264 in grades preschool through eighth jumped dramatically over last year’s number. This increase in enrollment puts additional stress on the space available in the buildings. The Board recognizes that class sizes are at or nearing capacity in some schools. Additionally, the Board recognizes that several of the schools are nearing enrollment capacity and that additional housing development within the district boundaries is going to add to that enrollment.

 

 

 

 

Process Continues on Facilities

The Hawthorn Board of Education conducted a work session to set parameters for the scope and process of architectural work to resolve current and future space constraints on its six school buildings.

The consensus of the board was to use enrollment projection numbers developed by John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Consulting Demographer, which show an increase by as much as 500 students in the next five years.

To deal with overcrowding, the Board of Education agreed to have its architect, DLR Group, of Chicago, consider new construction options and reconfiguring existing school space. Members agreed that the student teacher ratio goal should be 25:1 per classroom, which is the current number the district uses.

Board members felt strongly that curriculum and the use of technology should inform how teachers use space in schools. With that agreed upon, on Monday, April 25, the board is expected to review architectural costs for developing an Educational Facility Master Plan.

Once the DLR Group fees have been established, the firm can begin meeting with staff, parents, and community members to gauge their impressions of space needs for student learning.

Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years. Hawthorn’s current enrollment of 4,264 in grades preschool through eighth jumped dramatically over last year’s number. This increase in enrollment puts additional stress on the space available in the buildings. The Board recognizes that class sizes are at or nearing capacity in some schools. Additionally, the Board recognizes that several of the schools are nearing enrollment capacity and that additional housing development within the district boundaries is going to add to that enrollment.

Facility Planning Underway

Architect DLR Group, of Chicago, has begun working with the Hawthorn School District 73 administrative team and Board of Education to determine space needs for student learning.

DLR Group’s goal is to “address capacity to house the students in an educationally effective manner, to identify and create opportunities to enhance the learning environments in support of District 73’s Vision, and to address capital improvements.”

The Board of Education and the DLR Group are meeting to discuss the process that they will use to develop an Educational Facility Master Plan for Hawthorn. The firm’s experts will analyze and measure the current school buildings as they relate to current enrollment and future enrollment needs. This process will outline how to gain valuable input from members of the Board of Education, parents, staff, students, and community members.

Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years. Hawthorn’s current enrollment of 4,264 in grades kindergarten through eighth jumped dramatically over last year’s number. This increase in enrollment puts additional stress on the space available in the buildings. The Board recognizes that class sizes are at or nearing capacity in some schools. Additionally, the Board recognizes that several of the schools are nearing enrollment capacity.

Over the last 30 years, the district’s enrollment has doubled to its current number. The district is expected to grow between 400 students and 800 students over the next 10 years, according to John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Consulting Demographer.

Architect Gets Underway

Architect DLR Group, of Chicago, has begun working with the Hawthorn School District 73 administrative team and Board of Education to determine space needs for student learning. DLR Group was selected from among eight firms that submitted proposals.

DLR Group is considered the largest K-12 architectural firm in the country. The firm’s next step is to begin working on an Educational Facility Master Plan for the district to address the district’s space needs over the next several years.

Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years. Hawthorn’s current enrollment of 4,264 in grades kindergarten through eighth jumped dramatically over last year’s number. This increase in enrollment puts additional stress on the space available in the buildings. Over the last 30 years, the district’s enrollment has doubled to its current number. The district is expected to grow between 400 students and 800 students over the next 10 years, according to John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Consulting Demographer.

“Most schools are at their enrollment capacity and we need to consider using existing space more creatively or finding more space, if possible,” Superintendent Nick Brown said.