ST. CHARLES – The former Haines Middle School is getting a second life.
The St. Charles Park District is now leasing space in the former Haines Middle School and the St. Charles Public Library in April is set to move into the building in early April as work begins on the library's renovation project.
"The Park District is extremely happy," St. Charles District 303 assistant superintendent of operations John Baird told school board members at Monday's business services committee meeting. "All we've heard is great things about it."
The lease agreement with the Park District started in January and is in effect for four years, with an option by both parties to renew. The park district is leasing the building's gym and adjacent classroom space. Starting March 2, open gym pickleball will be held in the gym.
The library will close March 9 for an estimated three to four weeks to accommodate its move to the former Haines Middle School. The move is in advance of work proceeding on a $18.6 million renovation project. The library will be housed at the building at 305 S. 9th St. in St. Charles for approximately 12 to 14 months during the renovation project. Its entire collection will be relocated to the building.
In November, board members voted 5-2 to approve a $4 million bid with St. Charles-based Schramm Construction for work to be done to repurpose the former school. The board approved a base bid of $2.5 million to upgrade the building along with two alternates – a $1.3 million bid to demolish the two-story wing on the front of the building and a $161,000 bid to create additional classrooms for the district's transition program, which offers services for special needs students ages 18 to 22 to prepare them for life as an independent adult.
Upgrading the building includes making mechanical upgrades and replacing portions of the building's roof. The transition program is moving into the space previously used as the school's cafeteria and the NorthEast Academy alternative program also would move into the building.
The two-story wing on the front of the building was razed in January as part of the project's first phase.