Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 has proposed a two-story, 8,280-square-foot addition to Greenbrier Elementary that would allow the school to get rid of its mobile classrooms and alleviate overcrowding.
Greenbrier, which also houses District 25's early childhood program, is one of several schools in the district showing growing enrollment trends that officials have responded to by adding bricks and mortar.
At the start of the school year, the district opened new 19,000-square-foot additions at Ivy Hill and Olive-Mary Stitt elementary schools. Construction of expansions is underway at Windsor Elementary and Thomas Middle School, and the additional space is expected to be ready by the start of school in the fall.
Now, plans are being developed for an addition at Greenbrier, 2330 N. Verde Drive, containing four classrooms, two small group spaces and two offices. The project would also include converting the existing building's computer lab into a classroom, and renovating an odd-shaped classroom into two small group spaces.
The modular classroom building outside Greenbrier was installed at the start of the school year to house two fifth-grade classes.
District officials didn't provide a cost estimate for the project, saying they're still working on designs that detail the level of site work needed -- particularly how much stormwater detention is required and where to put it. The school district has had an agreement with the park district since the mid-1990s to allow detention at neighboring Greenbrier Park, and both agencies have started discussions on whether more could be allowed as part of the proposed school expansion.
A borrowing plan approved by the school board last December included $5 million set aside for the potential addition at Greenbrier.
District officials have discussed moving the early childhood program to the Dunton Administration Center, but Superintendent Lori Bein said that would lead to increased ongoing personnel costs, since the elementary and early childhood programs at Greenbrier share a nurse, librarian and other staff.
At Thursday night's school board meeting, board member Rich Olejniczak questioned whether another school would be better suited for an expansion since Greenbrier's campus is somewhat landlocked. He also suggested the board delay a decision until it discusses this summer whether to offer full-day kindergarten.
The board plans to revisit the issue in the next few months. A preliminary timeline calls for a groundbreaking in the fall and completion the following school year.