Northview — Students arriving at East Oakview Elementary for the first day of school tomorrow will walk into what is essentially a brand-new building.
And other than a few tell-tale finishing touches here and there, they’ll be largely unaware that most of their school was still under construction just weeks ago.
“We’re down to the wire, but we’ve got a plan,” said Clayton Martin, senior project manager for Rockford Construction, on Aug. 4 when district administrators and principals toured the building in neon green safety vests and hard hats.
Besides all-new classrooms, East Oakview has new or upgraded plumbing, electrical and heating and cooling systems; a relocated front entrance and main office; new playground design and equipment; a new parking area; and new sidewalks that include a path around the playground that connects to the adjacent neighborhood.
“This is really going to be a positive for the neighborhood,” said Principal Danielle Stanley, noting the reconfigured student drop-off area designed to ease traffic backups onto adjoining residential streets.
More to Come
The Aug. 4 tour included stops at the renovated Plainfield Avenue space that will house the Northview Next Learning Center, and the freshly laid track at the high school.
The projects mark the first phase of construction in a $36.7 million, no-mill increase bond request for building and systems improvements throughout the district, which passed in May 2020.
Other improvements, expected to be started in 2022, include adding multi-purpose spaces and upgrading major systems and classrooms at other elementary and middle schools, as well as to parking and security. Improvements to the Performing Arts Center and system upgrades also are planned at the high school.