An addition to Glencoe District 35’s Central School that officials say will alleviate disruptions to the school’s learning environment and increase safety is well on its way to the corner of Greenwood Avenue.
Glencoe trustees unanimously approved District 35’s request for a special-use permit to allow a 3,246-square-foot addition to Central School’s existing building during their regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21.
The approved addition will house District 35’s administration office, which is currently situated within Central School, according to a village memo from Taylor Baxter, Glencoe’s development services manager.
District 35 officials said in their plans submitted to the village that visitors currently access the district office via the school itself, which they noted is “disruptive to students and is potentially unsafe, as it requires members of the public to use the school corridors.”
According to plans submitted by officials, District 35’s staff “also has outgrown their current space within Central School.”
“The solution to both the security and the lack of space is an expansion of the district office on the south end of the building,” the school district’s proposal reads. “This configuration will provide a separate and secure district office entrance that faces South Street.”
District officials also said that the site design of the addition will allow for entry into the district office through new sidewalks and stairs. Project plans also say that existing parking spaces at the corner of South Street and Greenwood Avenue will be repurposed as parking spaces for the district office.
An ADA-compliant walking path that starts near the corner of Greenwood and South will take visitors to the entrance of the new office, which school officials said will be handicap accessible. The entrance to the current district office in Central School is not ADA-accessible.
The new addition to the existing two-story Central School building will be one story and will match the materials of the current structure, project plans say. District officials say in their request that the provisions included in the special-use permit would “allow for a symmetrical design” that “is more harmonious with the existing structure.”
District 35’s proposal first appeared in front of Glencoe’s zoning commission earlier this month. Commissioners unanimously approved the proposal but added a condition stating that the landscaping must resemble or exceed the plans that were submitted.
The district noted in its project plans that it will provide “landscaping to match the character of the neighborhood between South Street and (the) proposed addition.”
Jason Edelheit, District 35’s director of finance and operation, said during the school board’s September meeting that the updated estimated cost for the project is $4.9 million. Edelheit also noted that district officials explored the possibility of adding a basement area as part of the project but that it proved “cost prohibitive” at an estimated additional price tag of $900,000.
District officials will bring an updated pre-construction and procurement schedule to the board of education at the October meeting, according to Edelheit.
The addition was approved on the village board’s consent agenda Sept. 21, so trustees did not discuss it further.
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.