The School District U-46 Board of Education along with Superintendent Tony Sanders will officially open the district’s new “Welcome Center” with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 22.
U-46 purchased the 95,000-square-foot building at 1019 E. Chicago St. in 2018 after having leased the site’s parking lot for several years to serve as parking for bus drivers who would then be shuttled to the main transportation facility.
The initial purchase allowed for a second transportation facility with on-site parking for the district’s buses, resulting in annual savings of $1 million due to eliminating the need to shuttle those drivers.
The secondary goal was to create a one-stop-shop for many forward-facing departments that parents and community members routinely access, such as student registration, district records, testing for early education services, testing for English language proficiency for students who are English language learners, and Project Access, which serves students and families who qualify for homeless services.
The district’s Educational Services Center, where those departments were previously housed, is a multi-story building with limited parking and a layout that was challenging for the public to navigate. The new building features an inviting reception area, a 250-seat lecture hall, multiple conference rooms, and ample parking.
“The design of this new Welcome Center will allow for synergy and collaboration among the departments that are housed there and allow the district to provide great customer support to families who are new to U-46 and those seeking information or aid with specific services,” Sanders said.
SOURCE: District U-46 news release