District 73 kindergarten center to be complete in mid-June


The $13.5 million kindergarten center on Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills is on schedule and on budget, according to Hawthorn Elementary District 73.

Most of the electrical, mechanical and plumbing work is substantially complete, and ceilings will be closed starting May 11 at the Hawthorn School for Young Learners, district officials say.

“We’re ordering furniture at this point, so we’re definitely nearing the end,” said Abe Singh, director of finance and operations.

The 18-classroom, two-story building will be attached to the Vernon Hills Park District’s Sullivan Center on Aspen Drive in a campus of district buildings south of Route 60. The district projects 300 students will use it.

A final inspection is scheduled for June 8, and the building is expected to be available for occupancy mid-June.

The School for Young Learners is meant to relieve crowded conditions and provide flexibility at other district schools by consolidating kindergarten classes.

Principal Jill Martin said the staff is moving “full force ahead” with prepping despite school buildings’ being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are almost completely staffed with a group of extremely dedicated educators who cannot wait to spend their days teaching our young learners in person,” she said.

“The furniture has been ordered, master schedules are in place and our teachers are ‘Zoom Planning’ for their classrooms,” she added.

Part of the project involves road improvements to reduce backups on Aspen Drive, where the Aspen Drive library also is part of the mix.

School buses and other vehicles will enter at separate locations north and south of the Sullivan Center. They’ll exit by a new connection east to Phillip Road south of Victory Centre of Vernon Hills senior living facility leading to Atrium Drive.

The Vernon Hills village board this past Tuesday authorized a $200,000 payment to the school district for the project. The village previously built a regional detention vault to service the area and donated land for the library.

“The (village) board understands the importance of the schools and library to residents,” said David Brown, public works director/village engineer.

The School for Young Learners is part of a $48.7 million building program approved by voters in November 2018. Demolition for an estimated $10.2 million expansion/renovation at Hawthorn Middle School North will begin next week. Design also is underway for a $9.8 million expansion/renovation at Elementary South, according to Singh.


Article courtesy of the Daily Herald