Niles Community Schools hosts re-dedication ceremonies for renovated schools

NILES — Last week, Niles Community Schools celebrated the completion of construction at Ballard Elementary and Eastside Connections. To honor the occasion, school officials and students hosted a re-dedication ceremony.

Superintendent Dr. Dan Applegate, Board of Education President Leigh Jones, and each of the buildings’ principals were on-site during the ceremonies. The upgrades are the result of a six-series district-wide renovation from the successful passage of the 2015 Niles Community Schools bond.

“We are extremely grateful for the completion of these four buildings, and for the opportunity to see our students, staff and community make use of the new spaces and amenities,” Applegate said. “These renovations will serve Niles Community Schools for years to come, and we are thankful for everyone that had a hand in making it possible.”

At Eastside Connections, students are now back in their home facility, which has new ceilings, lighting, heating systems, boiler system, classroom heating units, upgraded safety and security, energy efficiency, and technological infrastructure.

Ballard Elementary School received new ceilings, flooring, student desks, chairs, whiteboards and lighting. For the first time in its history, Ballard has air conditioning and energy efficiencies through the building to ensure classroom comfortability all year round. This is the first renovation of the school since its development in the 1960s.

“On behalf of the Board of Education, I would like to thank the entire community. Without each and every one of you, these important updates to our schools would not have been possible,” Jones said. “We are excited to show the continued progress resulting from the hard work and advocacy of many.”

In addition to the school renovations, Niles Community Schools has many updates for the 2018-19 school year, with new hires, new curriculum and new programs underway aiding to the continued growth of the district’s offerings.

In the weeks to come, school officials will celebrate the completion of construction at two others school, Niles High School and Oak Manor.

Niles High School’s re-dedication ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. Friday and a ceremony for Niles Cedar Lane will take place at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10, at the former Oak Manor building, One Tyler St. in Niles.

Niles High School will have a renovated science wing, equipped with updated lab stations, safety stations, flooring, windows, furniture, and cabinetry. Additionally, the northwest wing, home to Niles New Tech, has received HVAC upgrades and energy efficient windows.

Oak Manor, now renamed Niles Cedar Lane after the program that will be housed in the building, will call the new and improved space home. The building will be equipped with safety and security upgrades, Niles Cedar Lane students will be able to enjoy a large, full kitchen and an all-purpose gym.