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New Semester = New Learning Spaces

The weather outside may be frightful, but the new spaces inside West Chicago Community High School are delightful! Moving has begun for the new Music Department and Study Hall. These spaces will be open to students at the start of 2nd Semester which begins January 7, 2020.

Some of the 380 students enrolled in music classes recently took a tour of their new rehearsal spaces in the 2nd floor addition on the west side of the school. Wide eyes and dropped mouths revealed the awe the students felt while touring the new Music Department. Each of the three main disciplines, band, chorus and orchestra, have their own acoustically rich, exclusive rehearsal space. Previously, band and orchestra shared a space, which resulted in scheduling challenges.

A climate-controlled, secure storage area for instruments, choir robes and band uniforms will increase the life span of everything stored there. A double-door hospital size elevator will allow for large instrument portation with one door opening directly into the storage area, while the other side opens to the second level lobby area.

But that’s not all. Also in the music department are 8 small practice rooms, some accommodating one student while larger rooms allow up to 6-8 students to practice together. In addition, two regular size classrooms are available for courses such as Music Technology and AP Music Theory, or for larger ensembles to practice. Finally, office space for the music teachers completes the new Music Department area.

The next new space that will be open for second semester is Study Hall. With its new location attached to the new Learning Resource Center (LRC), students in Study Hall who wish to use the LRC simply walk through one door to access it. Additionally, three other classes, Student Resource Center (SRC), Technology Student Internship (TSI), and AVID will be moving to start second semester in new locations. As the domino effect begins, they must vacate so work can begin renovating the LRC and surrounding classrooms for Social Studies.

Construction of the new LRC is expected to be complete by January 1. Packing and unpacking of the books and materials is no small task, but the new LRC is expected to be open for students by the end of January.

Although the new Music Department and new Learning Resource Center are on either side of it, the new main entrance at Entrance B will not be open for student use until the fall of 2020. The same holds true for the new Language Arts classrooms in the south end of the new addition.

The summer of 2020 will be a busy one as two-thirds of our classrooms will be moving to new locations. To accommodate this move of epic proportions, the 2020-2021 school year will not begin until after Labor Day.

While students will occupy some of the new spaces in January, parents and community members will have to wait to see them until all of the construction has been completed. Watch for a Community Open House invitation after the 2020-2021 school year begins.

Addition rendering of West Chicago Community High School west side.