Betsy Ross School is the smallest school in D91 (around 20,000 square feet, including an addition) and was built in 1926 when school buildings didn’t include music or art rooms or other office space. Supt. Cavallo and the D91 school board discussed a possible second-floor addition that would expand capacity for small group instruction, offices and music/art on Thursday, Jan 10.

Currently, the school uses a portable office mobile unit behind the school, but state school law requires that the mobile unit can only be used for seven years, Cavallo told the board. The unit has been there for three years. Music is taught in the gym and the art teacher moves from room to room with supplies on a cart, said Cavallo, adding that early cost estimates indicated the new addition could be built with existing capital funds in the district’s budget without floating any bonds or bringing a referendum question to the voters any sooner. The district will have paid off all outstanding bonds in the next couple of months.

Even though the district’s enrollment is shrinking, Cavallo said, Betsy Ross still lacks space that other schools have, making it not on-par with the other schools.

The board advised Cavallo to begin the process of getting estimated construction costs after being assured that the construction would not place any new burdens on taxpayers or negatively impact the district’s finances.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...