The District 41 Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to approve $300,000 for design and pre-construction studies for new “innovation laboratories” at the four elementary schools in the district, the Suburban Life reports.
According to the paper, the project itself could begin as early as summer 2014, would take about three years and cost between $8 and 10 million, starting at Franklin Elementary; the idea is to replace extremely outdated facilities with labs that conform to the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) system that the District is adopting.
"It's going to be flexible learning spaces that we're
going to decide whatever the challenges are of the day, whatever the programs
are that drive the facilities of the day, how to use those flexible
spaces," the paper quoted Board Secretary Dean Elger saying.
Board President Sam Black also called the labs “phase one of a master facility plan that will eliminate the portables in our district,” the paper said.