DeKALB – DeKalb School District 428 leaders voted to move forward in collecting bids for the cost to reopen and renovate Chesebro Elementary School for use as a pre-kindergarten and early childhood center.
Current schools are facing future overcrowding, and school officials are considering reopening Chesebro, at 900 E. Garden St., in addition to using Tyler Elementary School, 1021 Alden Circle, as a way to free up space in other schools.
The money for the renovations would come from a $21 million construction grant received by the district.
School board President Tom Matya said the board would discuss the matter more after bids for the project are received in late December or early January.
Based on preliminary figures discussed at a meeting earlier this month, renovating nine of the 14 Chesebro classrooms would cost $322,300, and completing the remaining classroom would cost $145,840.
If additional renovations, such as replacing the ceilings, lighting, ductwork and exterior soffits, extending the walls and installing a student drop-off lane, the entire project would cost $1.47 million.
These figures do not include the cost of replacing playground equipment, or any potential cost for asbestos removal.
At the October meeting, Kelly Mellott, an advisory board member, questioned whether moving students to Chesebro would be helpful in the long run.
The student population is expected to increase dramatically as result of the Irongate housing development, a subdivision that could add about 1,200 homes to property on the city’s north side, near DeKalb High School.
The students who would be added to the district could potentially be more than Chesebro could accommodate.