DeKalb School District 428 to host groundbreaking for new elementary school April 11

The former Northern Illinois University School of Nursing building Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2023, on the corner of Ridge Drive and Normal Road in DeKalb.

DeKALB – DeKalb School District 428 will host a groundbreaking ceremony April 11 to celebrate the start of construction for the district’s new elementary school planned for Normal Road.

The free ceremony will be held from 11 a.m. to noon at the former Northern Illinois University’s School of Nursing building, 1240 Normal Road.

The groundbreaking will include remarks from school district representatives, the school’s name unveiling and a shovel ceremony, according to a news release.

The 70,000-square-foot school will serve 450 to 500 kindergarten through fifth grade students. The school will feature music and art classrooms, a STEAM classroom for science, technology, engineering and art education, spaces designed to accommodate services for special needs students, outdoor learning and innovation pods and staff spaces to hold restorative conversations for student discipline.

The DeKalb School Board in July 2023 authorized a $1.86 million lease purchase agreement with Northern Illinois University to attain the rights to occupy the Normal Road building. The project is expected to cost about $33 million, officials have said.

The plan is meant to help reduce class sizes from 28 to 25 for grades K-5 and 35 to 30 for Grades 6-12 as redistricting is intended to follow when budgets and facilities allow, district officials have said.

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