District 86 plans out summer projects
Updated: July 2, 2012 9:30AM
Planned summer improvements at Hinsdale Central and South are designed to improve traffic flow and student drop off at each school’s entrance, create larger science classrooms at Hinsdale Central and beautify both campuses.
The Hinsdale District 86 School Board previewed summer improvements at both campuses Monday night. Project architects Michael Dolter and Rick Young of Perkins+Will showed off artist renderings of what each school will look like when students and staff return this fall.
Hinsdale Central’s new science labs will expand and include moveable lab equipment. The four classrooms now have fixed furniture, which staff believed failed to maximize each lab’s instructional areas. The improvements will include new lockers and a new display case in the hallway.
“All teaching areas have been reoriented to the wider side (of the classrooms) so students are as close to the teacher as possible,” Dolter said. “The new science classrooms are designed to be engaging and accessible.”
In parking lots, two-lane drop off zones will be built at both schools, with the inside lane for busses and the outside lane for other vehicles. The dual lanes are designed to keep vehicle and pedestrian traffic moving at the beginning and end of each school day.
“This provides a median wall between the two (lanes),” Young said. “It’s a safe zone where cars can drop off students. The widening of the drive lanes creates separation of the bus and car traffic.”
The median walls will have breaks to allow pedestrian traffic to flow in designated walkways toward the school, improving safety. The north and west lots of Hinsdale South High School will receive the lane upgrades, as will the north and east sides of Hinsdale Central High School. Hinsdale Central will also receive a designated bus loop to the south, sized to allow for 20 bus stalls.
Hinsdale Central’s main entrance off 55th Street and Hinsdale South’s main entrance off Clarendon Hills Road will feature larger gathering areas for students to congregate and to provide improved safety.
Each building will have their inner doors locked and a vestibule-type reception area installed where visitors must check in and be buzzed into the school. The larger lobbies will have windows and benches where students can wait for rides safely inside the school.
“The entry-way is something we’ve talked about for years so visitors can have a secure area,” Superintendent Nick Wahl said. “This is a standard feature on any new high school or junior high school.”
Both new entrances will have improved lighting, gardens and large stones with each school’s initials inscribed in them.
“(The gardens) have native plants in these areas, which will be able to soak up the storm water and filter the water of pollutants before they enter the system,” Young said.
Personalized brick pavers at each campus will be relocated as prominent features at each entrance. New pavers may be become available as part of fundraising efforts.