End Of An Era: Last Classes

Scores of students exited Sugar Grove and Russell elementary schools Tuesday afternoon.

None of them will return.

The last day of classes marked the end of elementary classes at both schools, whose students will attend the new Eisenhower K-12 facility in the fall.

To mark the milestone, both schools gathered their student bodies for group photos. Russell Elementary is represented at left, and Sugar Grove Elementary, above.

The decision to close the schools and convert Eisenhower into a K-12 entity goes back at least as far as 2012 when the idea was pitched in a school board budget presentation by then-Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel.

That June, a closure hearing was held for elementary schools throughout the county that dictated the schools would be shuttered once construction was completed.

Bids were awarded for the work in February 2013 with construction starting shortly thereafter, both for the renovation of the existing structure as well as the elementary addition on the western side of the facility.

A total of $16,494,389 in bids for the renovations, as well as an additional $5,156,086 for the elementary expansion, were approved a that time.

At committee meetings last month, district officials said that the process of moving into the K-12 complex will begin to take place as soon as the school year ends.