Building additions at Coleman, Highland and Laurel Elementary schools will be commemorated Tuesday with ribbon cutting ceremonies.
The three schools in Elgin-based U46 School District will add more than 250 students with the help of extra classroom space when the school year begins Wednesday.
“We’re grateful for the focus and dedication of the construction crews and many district employees who have worked together to ensure we’re ready to serve students by August 17,” said School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders in a news release. “We can’t wait to watch brick and mortar turn into special places of learning and engagement.”
The first ceremony at Laurel Hill, 1750 Laurel Ave., Hanover Park, begins at 5 p.m. The Coleman ceremony starts at 6 p.m., 1220 Dundee Ave., Elgin. The last ceremony of the evening starts at 7 p.m., at Highland, 190 N. Melrose Ave., Elgin.
The construction projects, which began in May, added 26 classrooms to each school, with 10 at Coleman, 10 at Highland and six at Laurel Hill, officials said in the release.
“The maintenance department, the building custodial services and the grounds department will join forces to ensure that the buildings are ready when the staff and students return for the new school year,” said U46 Plant Operations Director Chris Allen. “It's a concerted effort to turn each resulting space into a functioning school.”
Crews from various district departments are wrapping up work at the additions, as U46 launches full-day kindergarten for more than 2,600 students, officials said. Health and safety inspections must be administered to clear the buildings for students and staff at the start of the new academic year.
Each school will accommodate added students with Coleman gaining 114 students to bring total enrollment to 664, Highland seeing 105 more students for an enrollment of 598, and Laurel Hill receiving an increase of 27, to draw 528 total students, officials said. The building additions, along with boundary changes that go into effect this school year, allow the district to use elementary school space more efficiently and will help the district remove about 12 mobile classrooms over the course of the year.