Franklin Park schools being remodeled with safety in mind
Work on "administration office checkpoints" at Passow school and other schools in Franklin Park District 84 take place this summer. | Mark Lawton~Sun-Times Media
The north entrance of Passow School, facing Chestnut Avenue, will be extended north. The new space will hold the main office, a waiting room and a small workroom. The teacher’s lounge on the north end of the school will be relocated. The extension will be one-story high.
A rendering of the new school addition. The north entrance of Passow School that faces Chestnut Avenue will be extended north. The new space will hold the main office, a waiting room and a small workroom. The teacher’s lounge currently on the north end of the school will be relocated. The extension will be one-story high. | Provided
Updated: April 1, 2013 7:10AM
FRANKLIN PARK — School District 84 plans to remodel the entrances to all four of its schools to make them safer.
Starting May 24, a contractor will begin building “administration office checkpoints” at the Franklin Park schools.
“It’s to channel people from the outside into the office and not into the hallways,” said Ron Kanaverskis, director of buildings and grounds. “Right now when they come into a building, they have access to the hallways.”
In Pietrini, North and Hester Junior High, remodeling of the buildings could be as easy as building a set of interior doors that lock. Passow, however, will require building an addition to the front of the building that includes a new set of offices.
For the last dozen years, the schools have intercoms at the front door that contain a camera. With the remodeling, office staff will be able to see visitors through windows to the outside or foyer before deciding whether to unlock.
The Board of Education has been seriously considering remodeling since September. The Board decided to accelerate its plans once it heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn on December 14. A 20-year-old man killed 20 students and six staff.
“We hadn’t originally planned for this summer,” Board President Michael Special said. “We were thinking more like next summer. After what happened in Connecticut, the parents became very concerned.”
The projects will go out to bid in March. Bids will be opened on April 11, evaluated and presented to the board on April 17. Construction is scheduled to be completed at all the schools by Aug. 9.
The district plans to sell up to $2 million in bonds to pay for the projects.