Naperville D203 may spend more than $41 million to expand Ranch View Elementary, improve Naperville North – Chicago Tribune | Trending Viral hub

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The Naperville School District 203 Board was informed Monday of plans to spend $9.5 million on an addition to Ranch View Elementary School and make $32.9 million in improvements to Naperville North High School.

If approved at the May 6 board meeting, district administrators will move forward with next steps for the projects, including working with architects and engineers on design plans and seeking construction bids.

The goal would be to finish the work in time for the 2025-26 school year, according to board documents.

At Ranch View Elementary, 1651 Ranchview Drive, the district wants to add four full-size classrooms, instructional and office space for social work, English language services and staff collaboration, and additional bathrooms for staff and students.

Ranch View has more than 600 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Enrollment projections through 2029 show those numbers will increase, Superintendent Dan Bridges said. They have also seen increases in specialized programs at the school, he said.

“We have had to utilize a number of non-traditional spaces, which has not only impacted where students learn in the building, but also where our staff works and what they can do in those spaces,” Bridges said.

In 2022, administrators told the board that improvements would be needed at Naperville North High School, 899 N. Mill St., Bridges said.

Among the things needed are the elimination of inadequate mobile classrooms, the reuse and increase of instructional space, the creation of multipurpose instructional space, and the changes necessary to bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The district would also add a multi-use grass field for physical education and sports classes and address stormwater storage issues.

Changes to the outdoor athletic field would create a space comparable to what is already available near Naperville Central High School in Knoch Park, Bridges said.

Board member Kristen Fitzgerald said she was pleased the district is addressing space issues at Ranch View and equity issues between Naperville North and Central high schools to ensure facilities are similar.

The projects have been talked about for several years, Bridges said.

“In all of our projects, staff are involved at various levels relative to needs,” he said.

Enrollment projections are done annually, but the district waits about five years to forecast changes in enrollment and anticipate space needs, said Chuck Freundt, assistant superintendent of administrative services.

The board is also considering purchasing 14 new school buses through a state-approved purchasing cooperative.

Officials would like four of those buses to be 71-passenger electric vehicles and the other 10 to be traditional diesel buses. The 10 diesel buses would be of various sizes, according to the documents.

If approved next month, the total price of the new buses would be about $2.9 million.

Michelle Mullins is a freelance reporter for the Naperville Sun.

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