Niles Community Schools get $40 million makeover, inside and out

Niles Community Schools passed a school improvement bond in May, granting a $40 million construction budget to fix up schools.

Ring Lardner Middle School and Howard-Ellis Elementary are the first of the four buildings to get worked on.

Although most of the construction is within the infrastructure, these changes are major.  Ring Lardner Middle School was built in the 1960's and has not been updated since then.  These changes in the vents and pipes will have a positive impact on students. 

The better temperature control and air conditioning will allow students to have a better learning environment.  "This," says Nathaniel Preston of Skillman Corporation, the company responsible for completing the project, "was the whole purpose of the bond."

Superintendent Dr. Dan Applegate says he's happy that this project is taking place. "None of this would have happened, had the community not gotten behind the schools and made this possible.  So we're really excited."

Ring Lardner also faces an expansion, that will house sixth graders, fed from Oak Manor Sixth Grade Center. This will increase the school's population from approximately 440 students, to around 630.  

Next year. the school will also get new cabinets, tables and chairs, to complete the upgrade. 

The next two schools to be fixed up are Ballard Elementary and Eastside Elementary.

The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of the summer in 2017. 

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