June 21, 2019
Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press' Alex Kukulka provides excellent coverage of old Maple School demolition and completion of the new Maple School next door!
Crews begin ‘bittersweet’ demolition of old Maple School building: Tear down shows structure ‘crumbling like a cookie’
“It’s a feeling of sadness. This school was a good ship for us,” said Principal Nathan Carter . “But it’s time.”
The new school building is nearly complete and built directly next to the old one. Once the old Maple School is torn down, the area will hold the new school’s athletic fields, a playground, parking lot and water detention, the principal said.
School district spokeswoman Beth Preis said it felt strange that the district worked hard over the years to “keep the building together” and now it is “crumbling like a cookie.”
atching the demolition, Board of Education Vice President Nancy Artz said it was “bittersweet” to see the old school come down because the district has spent about four years planning and preparing for this moment.
“It’s been a wonderful building for us for many years,” Artz said. “Certainly watching this makes it real.”
The district decided that building a new Maple School would be beneficial based on population growth and the amount of work that would’ve been required to expand and update the old building , Carter said.
In April 2017 , voters approved a $36.3 million bond issuance to construct the new school.
The project started with input from students and staff to create a master facility plan, which was finalized by a steering committee and analyzed by a citizen’s task force, Superintendent Brian Wegley previously said.
The design of the new school was completed in December 2017 and construction crews started work in the spring of 2018 , Wegley previously explained.
The new school includes a three-story academic wing with sixth graders on the first floor , seventh graders on the second floor and eighth graders on the third floor , according to Wegley.
Music rooms and two gyms will be located on the opposite side of the academic wing so that more noisy spaces don’t impact the classrooms, the superintendent said. The new school will have more collaborative spaces, like “learning stairs” near the main entrance, which will include outlets to charge mobile devices, a projector screen and nearby white boards so that students can use the space for lessons.
There will also be a "cafetorium" in the new building that will fit 500 people , Wegley previously said. The space will be available to students for lunch, but it will also have a stage area that can be used for assemblies and performances.
by Dr. Brian Wegley/Jeanie Moran