All of building freed up for Academy ACL

       In keeping with District 11 plans, the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (AACL) will take over the rest of the building at 2510 N. Chestnut St. when the school year starts in August.
       The district's Records Management Department, which had occupied about a quarter of the building's 28,000 square feet of space for the past two years, has relocated to the east end of a D-11 warehouse that was renovated for the purpose on Babcock Road, according to Superintendent Dr. Nick Gledich.
       AACL, a D-11 charter school geared for gifted students in grades K-8, just completed its first year in the Chestnut Street facility.
       “We are very excited to be growing into the new wing of our building,” said Nikki Myers, AACL's director/principal. The move will make it possible to add six classrooms and arrange them - using the building's straight line - with the lower grades at the south end and the higher grades at the north end, she added.
       A wall had been erected to separate the D-11 Records area from the school. That wall has been taken down since the school year ended, and the school custodian has begun preparing the rooms for students.
       Even with the added space, AACL, an all-choice school, is nearly at capacity. A few openings exist in seventh and eighth grades, “with every other division running a waiting list,” Myers said.
       Under the school's expansion plans, not all its north-end space is being used yet, but “will be filled the following year with our build-out enrollment plan,” she said.
       The school originally was built in 1956 for Pike Elementary. D-11 closed Pike in 2009 as part of a cost-cutting move.

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