G. Stanley Hall Elementary School Celebrates Expansion and Renovations
Projects at G. Stanley Hall Elementary School triple school district early learning enrollment, add physical education opportunities, and improve dining options
In 1961, the Glendale Heights, Illinois community gathered to celebrate the new G. Stanley Hall Elementary School. Since then, much has changed: more rigorous standards in all subject areas, additional testing, and a growing body of research that shows the long-term benefits of early childhood education.
In early November 2018, Marquardt School District 15 (MSD15) reaffirmed its commitment to its children—over 250 community members gathered in Hall Elementary School’s new gym to celebrate completion of an addition and renovation that respond to changes in education. The Hall Chorus performed several musical pieces. Speakers included MSD15 Superintendent Dr. Jerry O’Shea, MSD15 Board President Jean Randazzo, Hall School Principal Karen Marino, and Legat Architects President and CEO Patrick Brosnan. After the official ribbon cutting, the guests toured the new spaces.
The project, designed by Legat and built by IHC Construction, features a six-classroom early learning center expansion, which, along with a similar project at Winnebago Elementary, will triple MSD15’s early childhood enrollment. Also included is the new gymnasium, as well as a makeover and expansion of the school’s multipurpose space (former gym) and a larger kitchen area.
Board President Jean Randazzo said, “This construction is the culmination of years of advocacy, planning, and hard work from not only current but also past boards of education, district administrations, Hall School staff, Legat Architects, and IHC Construction.”
The project includes 21,600 square feet of additions and 4,200 square feet of renovations. Construction started in June 2017 and finished in August 2018. The Hall project continues a 26-year relationship between MSD15 and Legat.
A Strong Start: Early Learning Expansion
“Developmental research and brain science tell us that early childhood education is critical to students’ long-term success,” said Dr. Jerry O’Shea, MSD15 superintendent. “This cost-effective expansion not only brings the community a facility designed to meet the needs of three- and four-year-olds, but it also provides space to educate three times as many preschoolers each year.”
From their colorful carpet leaves and giant floor pillows to their shared therapy rooms, the light-filled early learning classrooms are designed to give MSD15’s youngest students a strong start to their educational journey.
Kindergarten teacher Lindsay Kueking, who taught in the old wing, complimented her new classroom for its “much larger space, flexible seating, natural lighting, and access to the new early learning playground.” She also applauded the integrated therapy and teacher planning rooms that connect each pair of early learning classrooms.
The expansion of the early learning program at Hall coincides with a soon-to-be completed similar addition at Winnebago Elementary School.
Karen Marino, Hall School principal, commented on the joy of “. . . getting to see our youngest community members thrive in the new early childhood classrooms that have all the resources and support for their personal, academic, and social growth right at their fingertips.”
Student and Community Resource: Gymnasium Addition
The new gym, which triples the size of the previous one, brings more physical education opportunities, after-school activities, and community partnerships. It also offers a place for indoor recess if the weather is bad.
The 7,200-square-foot new gym has six hoops (up from four) and a dividing curtain that creates flexibility for scheduling. Clerestories (i.e., high windows) fill the space with natural light and long-lasting LED light fixtures bring energy-efficient, high-quality lighting.
More Choices, Better Views: Multipurpose/Commons Renewal
Renovations transform the shared gym/lunchroom into a multipurpose room/commons. The expanded space helps MSD15 provide nutritious breakfast and lunch options for every child at Hall Elementary. It also means that the gym no longer has to do double-duty as a lunchroom.
A small addition to the commons increases seating options and offers floor-to-ceiling glass for better views outside and more natural light inside. The new warming kitchen next to the commons has a walk-in cooler five times larger than the previous storage area.
A Long-Term Investment
Dr. O’Shea said, “The District has invested in the construction of space that leads to the development of new curriculum projects to expand our academic programming and increase the life opportunities for our students, not just today, but for generations to come.”
See more photos of the ribbon cutting ceremony and open house at Hall Elementary School.
Contact us to learn more about educational design or comment below to share your thoughts on this post.