March 19, 2015
Imagine working for science professors in order to help them with their research, participating in a Shark Tank-like business class where students can conference with real business leaders to see if they would fund their projects or maybe experimenting with a three-story hole in the floor.
These opportunities will be available with an addition in the B-wing.
By the start of the 2016-2017 school year, a brand new, high-tech, career-oriented addition will be added to the campus of MHS. This plan will add 15 classrooms, seven science labs, one business lab, one Project Lead the Way Lab and one STEM lab.
Project Lead the Way is the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs that help students succeed in a global economy.
As for what the new addition will bring to school experiences, “flexibility and collaboration are key,” said Dr. Anthony Kroll, principal.
The new classrooms will stress working together in more group activities, as they have been designed to be adjustable to fit the tasks at hand.
Different arrangements can be formed through breakaway walls. Rooms can be enlarged for more collaborative working. Conference rooms will be added near the classrooms where students can work in a quieter, more independent setting. Not only will the classrooms be new, but the equipment inside of them will be, too.
Science Teacher Jackie Hogan said, “I’m so excited! The new state of the art technology will enable us to try a lot of new things.”
The innovative technology and equipment seems to be a large part of the excitement.
“I think it will help those who are looking to go into a scientific field of study and give them insight on whether it will be a good fit and an opportunity to experience the new technologies for when they continue onto college,” said Sophomore Gabby Antenore, who is on the Dream Team, a group of students who focus on publicizing all aspects of Mundelein, including the high school.
Students will be able to participate in the career fields of their interest while still being in high school. Some classes will involve mentorships, in which a professional will communicate with the student on a weekly basis about their work.
“Students have a say in what they’re learning. . . It will make the transition from high school to college easier,” said Hogan.
Some courses will give students opportunities to participate in tasks not offered until their junior or senior year in college, and because not every high school in the area provides these experiences, students from MHS should be “highly desired by colleges,” said Hogan.
The addition will break ground this spring when preparation begins in the B-wing courtyard. The first day after spring break will see big machines coming in to start laying the foundation.
The B-wing entrance from the parking lot will have to be widened so that the machines and equipment can be brought into the courtyard. The new addition won’t be enclosed with walls until January or February.
During the construction, plywood or some type of fencing will be placed on the windows to eliminate sound from intruding into nearby classrooms.
Furthermore, the B-wing beyond the Dean’s Office will have a huge wall in place, so students will have to take a detour to get to the other side.
All in all, the construction will take two summers (2015 and 2016) and one school year (2015-2016).
Besides the educational benefits, the construction also will offer a courtyard outside the new addition. The plan is for the courtyard to have a hill where people can sit and tables with umbrellas.
Classes can be held outside (during nice weather, of course) in two other empty courtyards. Benches could be set up for students to learn on while enjoying some fresh air.
As for costs, the state is paying for a third of the project, leaving the school to pay for the rest without taxpayers seeing an increase in taxes to pay for this project.
Kroll said the community will be proud to see this new addition that will benefit the future citizens of Mundelein.