Master Facility Planning Underway

Architect DLR Group, of Chicago, has begun working with the Hawthorn School District 73 administrative team and Board of Education to determine space needs for student learning.

DLR Group’s goal is to “address capacity to house the students in an educationally effective manner, to identify and create opportunities to enhance the learning environments in support of District 73’s Vision, and to address capital improvements.”

The Board of Education and the DLR Group are meeting to discuss the process that they will use to develop a Master Facility Plan for Hawthorn. The firm’s experts will analyze and measure the current school buildings as they relate to current enrollment and future enrollment needs. This process will outline how to gain valuable input from members of the Board of Education, parents, staff, students, and community members.

Hawthorn has been experiencing space capacity challenges in its school buildings for several years. Hawthorn’s current enrollment of 4,264 in grades kindergarten through eighth jumped dramatically over last year’s number. This increase in enrollment puts additional stress on the space available in the buildings. The Board recognizes that class sizes are at or nearing capacity in some schools. Additionally, the Board recognizes that several of the schools are nearing enrollment capacity.

Over the last 30 years, the district’s enrollment has doubled to its current number. The district is expected to grow between 400 students and 800 students over the next 10 years, according to John D. Kasarda, Ph.D., Consulting Demographer.