On May 6, the D45 Board of Education held a special meeting to tour District 45 school buildings. Principals provided building tours at each school, and representatives from Wold Architects & Engineers and Gilbane Building Company gave construction tours at North, Ardmore, Westmore, and the Early Childhood Center.
“Our Board wanted the opportunity to get out into our schools and be visible again, after a long stint of Covid where we weren’t in the buildings,” said D45 Board of Education President Judy Degnan. “It was so nice to see the buildings and the kids.”
“Visiting our schools helps our Board reconnect with why we do what we do,” said Degnan.
The Board also wanted a first-hand look at the progress of the new construction in the District. While they have reviewed photos and work from the outside, the tours helped them better visualize the progress.
One of the many stops was a hard-hat visit to the new Early Childhood Center, just south of Jackson Middle School. “It’s beautiful,” said Degnan. “And it’s almost done.”
“Seeing the progress today put us back in touch with the excitement of the passing of the referendum,” said Degnan. “This is really bettering our community.”
The new Early Childhood Center will allow all District 45 preschoolers and preschool teachers to be together. And families throughout the District will now have the option of full-day kindergarten. “We have been wanting that for so long,” Degnan said.
The highlight of the tours for the Board? “The highlight for us was that we saw happy kids, engaged—and a very welcoming staff at all our schools,” said Degnan.
The Board was also impressed with Gilbane. “From what we heard and saw today, we were impressed with how caring, understanding, and invested the Gilbane people are,” said Degnan. “They really care about getting it right for us.”
Degnan said that while she has served on the Board for many years, she doesn’t recall ever participating in a comprehensive building tour like this. “It was a special thing, and we are grateful that Dr. Palmisano put it together for us,” Degnan said. “We really enjoyed it.”