Update on School Building Improvements for District 205

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Today was the first day of school for 28,000 students in District 205.

We stopped by Spring Creek Elementary School this morning as kids were just getting started for the day. This year actually brings some pretty big changes for District 205 including a new superintendent , Dr. Ehren Jarrett, and the start of career academies in all area high schools.

More changes are also on the way. Many buildings are under construction as part of the District’s ten-year facilities plan.
Dozens of kids pack the cafeteria at Johnson Elementary School, which because the space is currently being shared with the gym, is more like half a cafeteria.

“There are so many kids and it’s so congested and it’s so hot that they need more room.”

Students are getting that room. Construction crews are working on a cafeteria addition.

“The cafeteria will allow for us to have a space for the kids to eat that’s not cut in half because they’re sharing with a gym teacher,” said Amber Miller, Principal of Maud E. Johnson Elementary School.

Another change that’s already in place, a new, more secure entrance into the building.

Visitors used to get buzzed in through the doors and could walk into the building. A second set of doors are new and locked that way visitors are directed into another door to the main office.

Summer Svedin, a lunch aid and parent says that eases concerns about the safety of her son.

“I feel a lot better with him being in here with the doors like that just because it is safer and don’t want anything to happen to any of the kids that go here,” said Svedin.

Visitors will still be buzzed in through the first set of doors. The buzzer wasn’t working today because it’s being moved. There’s also a camera that points at the front door.

Conklin and Lathrop are getting similar cafeteria additions and resource rooms. The work is expected to be done in December.

Below is the list of more projects underway at District 205 school buildings:

  • Auburn High School: A 100,000 square-foot field house will contain physical education stations, eight new classrooms, a 200-meter track, basketball and volleyball courts, plus multipurpose space for academic and athletic programs. The expected completion date is Fall 2014.

  • Paving projects are complete or nearing completion at the following sites: Brookview Elementary School, Flinn Middle School, Jefferson High School (in addition to the 21st Century School upgrades and Sharefest makeover) Kennedy Middle School, Rolling Green Elementary School, West Middle School, Whitehead Elementary School, Thurgood Marshall School.

  • Johnson, Conklin and Lathrop elementary schools are getting new cafeteria additions, production kitchens and resource rooms. These schools are also receiving new entryways and security vestibules to limit visitor access to only the school's main office.

  • Spring Creek Elementary School - Construction work includes a new front entry vestibule to better secure the building and direct visitors to the main office, plus a cafeteria and full kitchen addition, as well as a new boiler room and storage space. The additions will be completed in December.

  • Froberg Elementary School: new gymnasium and converting the existing gym into cafeteria and storage space. Four new classrooms will be added, and the portable trailers used in the 2012-13 school year -- were removed for the 13-14 school year. The school also received parking lot expansion and paving. The additions are expected to be completed in December.

  • East High School: Window replacement happened over the summer to replace the school's original single-pane windows with more efficient windows. Not every new window has yet been installed, although the work that still needs to be done is in places that aren't regularly occupied by students.

  • McIntosh Elementary School: a new cafeteria and kitchen space, two new classrooms for art and music, plus additional storage space. The additions will be completed in December.

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