New Schools For New School Year For South-Western City School Students

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Many elementary school students will go to new schools for the start of classes in the South-Western City School District.

Tuesday marked the first day of school for students in the district.  Construction on the new buildings delayed the start of classes.

The district is building 13 new elementary schools.  Four of them are ready for the 2014-2015 school year.  Harmon, Monterey, Alton Hall and Prairie Norton all have ribbon-cutting ceremonies within a week of the start of school.

Harmon Elementary is 69,000-square feet and accommodates 600 students.

All four of the new schools are designed to enhance student safety.  Front entrances have double doors, which lock after students enter in the morning.  Visitors must check into the office in order to enter the schools.  There are also large windows and glass doors so office staff can see the parking lot.

Along with the new schools come new traffic patterns.  Parent and school bus drop-off locations will be separated.

The delayed start to the school year also means a later end.  School will let out in June rather than May.

In addition to the new elementary schools, the district is replacing Franklin Heights School and renovating Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods Elementary schools.  The renovations include refurbishing tracks, tennis courts and asphalt and removing asbestos.