Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

43° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Controversial education building breaks ground

During the summer and the first month of its school year, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 extended the superintendent’s contract, appointed five new principals and began construction on a controversial building.

The school board voted unanimously July 16 to extend Superintendent Hardy Ray Murphy’s contract by two years. Murphy’s original contract was set to expire in June 2003, but his new contract will last until June 2005.

As the school year began, four new principals took their positions in D65 schools: Nina Williams at Orrington Elementary School; Shelley Paulson Carey at Willard Elementary School; Matthew Ottaviano at Park School; and Celia Arresola at Haven Middle School.

In addition, Maureen Rich was appointed interim principal at Lincoln Elementary School through the end of the current school year.

One of the district’s most divisive projects last year broke ground this month as construction began on the early childhood education and administration building at Lake Street and McDaniel Avenue. The board approved a contract with general contractor F.H. Paschen on July 30.

The building will house the district’s early childhood education facilities as well as additional district administrative offices and parking.

When the board debated the new building in the spring, neighborhood organizations and community groups opposed its location adjacent to King Lab School along the North Shore Channel.

Opponents said the building would take up too much green space and create more traffic and noise in the surrounding residential neighborhood.

School board President Walter Carlson said the board is still aware of the controversy.

“We are proceeding with construction in a sensitive and thoughtful manner,” Carlson said. “We are taking into consideration the community’s concerns.”

Last month the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design selected the early childhood education and administration building as one of the best new designs in the country for its 2001 American Architecture Awards. Connon Design submitted its design for consideration for the awards, and the building was one of 45 selected for recognition.

Since the end of the last school year, the board also made several appointments to open positions, including:

• Valerie Gudgeon as director of special services for the district. She was the director of special education for Hinsdale School District 18.

• Rick Herrejon as assistant principal of King Lab School. He was an assistant principal at Gemini Junior High School in Niles.

• Peter DiFrancesca as special services coordinator for the district. DiFrancesca was principal of the Arlyn School in Wilmette.

• Katherine Davis as interim assistant principal at Haven Middle School for the current school year. She was a Nichols Middle School teacher since 1990.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Controversial education building breaks ground