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October 21, 2014, 10:13 pm
970 WMAY News

New Elementary School Construction to Begin This Summer

Conceptual design of the new Matheny-Withrow
Conceptual design of the new Matheny-Withrow Elementary School

Students and teachers are entering a transitional phase with the ceremonial ground breaking for the new Matheny-Winthrow Elementary School.


The $7.3 million project could take up to a year and-a-half to complete.


District 186 officials says no taxes were increased to pay for construction of the 32,000 square foot institution. Superintendent Walter Milton says that the new school will be built right next to the old school and could cause some discomfort for students, parents and faculty. Milton also says the building will be a good learning experience for children.


Dave Leonatti, Principal with Melotte Morese Leonatti Parker Architects in Springfield says that it's challenging to design a school to fit a specific curriculum, and community. Another big challenge is the transition period from the old, to the new. But the project is being executed by a good builder, says Leonatti.


Harold O'Shea Builders is the General Contractor that will begin working on the new school in early summer this year.


The school is expected to be ready for the 2013-14 school year.


There's no break in the learning process for students either. After the summer recess, they'll be learning about million dollar construction projects. 


Diane Motley, Principal at Matheny-Withrow Elementary School, says that students will get some first hand-experience during the construction of the new school.


Pete Robinson, a student at Matheny-Withrow Elementary School, says the land where the current school is will be a playground for the new school, eventually.  The project, being funded by health/life-safety bonds will begin early this summer and could last up to a year-and-a-half.


The new building will have a chilled beam geo-exchange climate control system, specially designed overhangs to allow more sunlight inside, separate bus and parent parking lots and improved main entrance security. Officials expect the project to be complete for the 2013-14 school year.

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