District 158 continues to invest in early childhood education with Lester Crawl project

Lester Crawl
Board members, government officials, school staff, students, and others gather at the Lester Crawl groundbreaking in April. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
by Jim Masters

LANSING, Ill. (July 24, 2021) – The Lester Crawl Primary Center project continues to progress thanks to an infusion of cash from the Lansing School District 158 Board of Education at its meeting Wednesday.

The board approved three building contracts, tallying approximately $1.35 million, as part of a $14 million investment in the pre-kindergarten education.

The largest of the bid awards was $1,175,900 to Joseph Construction Co. of Lynwood for general carpentry and construction work.

“The work entails all the woodworking and carpentry, such as walls, drywall and ceilings, basically doubling the square footage of the existing structure,” explained Dr. Nathan Schilling, Superintendent of Schools.

The board also awarded a $58,000 contract to Lozich Masonry of Chicago Heights for exterior brick work on the facility.

158’s investment in early childhood education

Located at 18300 Green Bay Road, just across the lawn from TF South High School, the Lester Crawl Primary Center will give three- and four-year-olds a head start as they prepare to enter elementary school. The facility is being built on the site of an older maintenance building, which will be torn down and be replaced by the new maintenance building going up at Greenbay Avenue and Illinois Street.

The board awarded a $117,000 contract to Keepsake Construction Co. of Orland Park for work on the mezzanine level of the new maintenance building, which will serve as a storage area for student records and educational supplies.

Initially, the primary center will accommodate 120 students, essentially doubling in capacity as the facility is expanded over the next two years. Once completed, it will be one of the largest early childhood education centers in the state of Illinois.

Schilling believes the facility is going to be a model for other school districts in Illinois, as it aligns with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s early children education initiative. He sees Lester Crawl and the other District 158 upgrade projects demonstrating that Lansing is an excellent destination for families to buy a home and enroll their children in school. The Lester Crawl project represents the fifth and final school construction project by District 158 over the past 15 years.

In addition, the board awarded a $65,109 contract to Sutton Asphalt of St. John, IN for resurfacing, crack filling, and striping of the parking lots at Coolidge, Oak Glen, and Reavis elementary schools. The bid also includes parking lot resurfacing at Memorial Junior High, including its running track.