Oak Ridge Ready for Students- Courier News

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Written by Suzanne Baker, The Courier News. August 12, 2014


Oak Ridge is ready for students

CARPENTERSVILLE — Jeffrey Holstein’s students will be in for a big surprise today when they arrive at Oak Ridge School.

“I think they’re going to be shocked,” he said.

Holstein’s students are among the 56 who will open the newest school building Community Unit District 300 has to offer.

The community got a sneak peek on Monday when the district hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at the 300 Cleveland Ave. site.

Gone are the outdated, mobile units on Lake Marian Road that housed the alternative school since it opened in 1998. Those were demolished two months ago.

District 300 sold the 7.2-acre site to Children’s Home & Aid for $750,000. Proceeds from the sale were used to offset the cost of renovating the building at 300 Cleveland Ave. from office space back into classrooms.

Students now will attend a school with classrooms with shiny walls, polished floors, and huge windows; state-of-the-art restrooms and drinking fountains; thinking rooms for times of reflection; a cafeteria with an optionfor hot lunch; and access to a gymnasium.

For the staff, there’s a work room, conference room, and plenty space for the school nurse, principal and other office staff.

Holstein, who is has worked at Oak Ridge School for 13 years, said over the years he’s heard numerous plans to move Oak Ridge from the mobile classrooms. Greeting visitors who stopped in his classroom on Monday, Holstein said he’s thrilled the move finally came to fruition.

Equally thrilled is Shelley Nacke, assistant superintendent for education services. Before taking on the district administrative role, she worked as a teacher then principal for nine years at Oak Ridge.

“It has been a long time going… 17 years to put Oak Ridge in a building that you don’t have to go across the street for a drill,” Nacke told the crowd in attendance at the ribbon cutting.

School Board President Anne Miller thanked the community for its support.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be here. It’s a day that we knew was going to come,” but it just took 17 years to accomplish, she said.

“To take gym classes inside a mobile classroom was pretty challenging. We had excellent staff that adapted to that,” Miller said. She said now students will have access to the gymnasium at the adjacent Carpentersville Middle School.