Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Elgin Academy Media, Science and Fine Arts Center

The Media, Science, and Fine Arts Center--a major building in the center the of the Academy’s Hilltop Campus--assumes the highest priority for facilities improvements that will be instrumental in helping the school accomplish its goals.

The building is designed as an environmentally sensitive, LEED-certified structure under the criteria of the U.S. Green Building Council. It will be a “campus hub” while serving the needs of every student in Early Childhood, Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools.

The Academy anticipates construction of the Center at the corner of Dundee Avenue and Kimball Street. The facility will encompass approximately 42,300 square feet on four levels. It is designed to meet a variety of needs for all students, from preschool through twelfth grade.
· A new Library will provide ample space to increase the print and electronic collections that compliment the EA curriculum and will be fully integrated with the computer technology resources of the Academy.
· The Fine Arts Department and virtually all Fine Arts activities will be served by the new Center. The Black Box Theatre will serve the needs of all EA students, as well as providing performance space for many community performing arts groups who will rent the space.
· New state-of-the-art Science and Math Labs will serve Middle and Upper School students.

The new Center will spark many other beneficial changes and will create new opportunities to use space in Edwards, Sears, and North Halls. The greatest changes will occur in Sears Hall where several classrooms are being renovated, lockers replaced, and bathrooms remodeled. Changes in North Hall include converting the art rooms to Preschool and Lower School classrooms. Changes in Edwards Hall include enlarging the computer lab and renovating science classrooms.

Spring 2007 Groundbreaking for the new Center, and construction begins
August 2008 Occupancy of New Media, Science, and Fine Arts Center

Go to the Elgin Academy web site for more information.

Water Main Installation Being Done At Night

Construction of the new water main on and across Chicago Street is being done the week of November 20th at night in order to minimize impact on downtown businesses and the motoring public. This work will include the installation of water main along the south side of Chicago Street from North Grove, where new water main has already been installed, to South Grove. At that intersection, the water main installation will turn south along South Grove. No further water main work on Chicago Street is anticipated in this phase of the project.

Lane closures on Chicago Street will begin at 7 p.m. but the street will remain open to traffic. All lanes on Chicago will be open before the morning rush hour. Utility construction in the downtown area has created many challenges. The night construction for the crossing of Chicago Street is being utilized in order to maintain full access to businesses during the day and to minimize disruption to traffic during peak times.

For further information, please contact Steve Pertzborn, Senior Engineer, at 847-931-5955.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Elgin Receives Three Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization

Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn concluded the 13th Annual Illinois Main Street Downtown Revitalization conference November 14 and 15 held in Waukegan with the Lieutenant Governor Awards for Excellence in Downtown Revitalization. The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) with Community partners brought back to Elgin three awards recognizing local efforts.

The 2005 Block Walk Report Project completed by the DNA Design Committee was a co-winner of the Design Committee Project, the Judson College Partnership with DNA won in the Partnership Development category, and lastly Giants: African Dinosaurs Created by Project Exploration/ Dinos on Parade was a co-winner in the Special Event category. The Downtown Neighborhood Association also received designation as a Premier program through the Illinois Main Street Program, which there are only seven of in Illinois out of sixty-nine communities.

Present to receive an award for the 2005 Block Walk Report was architect, Eric Pepa, urban planner and landscape architect, Paul Bednar, and construction contractor, Rick Krocza as active DNA Design committee participants in this project. The judges declared,” This was a wonderfully proactive approach and a great model for other Main Streets.”

Present to receive an award for the Judson College Partnership was Provost & VP for Academic Affairs, Dale Simmons, Architecture department chair Dr. Curtis Sartor, and students Josh McGarvey, Nickolas Coile, John Wetendorf, Aaron Wood, and recent graduate Maria Sierra. One judge commented, “What a great use of their resources! The students benefit from practical experience and the community reaps the awards!”

Present to receive the “Giants: African Dinosaurs Created by Project Exploration/ Dinos on Parade” award from Gail Borden Public Library was Carole Medal, executive director, Karen Maki, deputy director, Denise Raleigh, director of communications and Jean Bednar, library board member and foundation trustee. The judges declared this a “Dino-mite project” that Gail Borden Public Library, the community and DNA took part in. The project was a success because of a tremendous number of people that contributed.

Illinois Main Street communities from throughout the state submit their best projects for the annual awards. A distinguished panel of judges, including economic development specialists, historic preservation architects, and downtown professionals made the award decisions.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office administers the Illinois Main Street program, which has 69 designated communities, with an additional 25 introductory communities on the way. It is based on a national model that offers communities help with issues of historic preservation, economic development and downtown improvements. Illinois has the 4th largest program out of the 40 plus states that belong to the National Main Street program administered through the National Trust for Historic Preservation.