Menu

Moraine’s plans for Student Success Center moving along

  • Written by Kelly White

With the completion of Moraine Valley’s Health, Fitness and Recreation Center in the spring, the college is already planning its next major renovation. 

The G Building Renovation/Addition Project is anticipated to begin after the end of this school year’s classes in June. This one-year project is geared for completion in 2016, prior to the August semester starting date. With the new door opening -- literally -- the building will also be taking on a new name as the Student Success Center.
Dominick Demonica of Demonica and Kemper Architects provided an overview and program summary of the spaces in the G Building to be renovated for the Student Success Center at last Wednesday’s school board meeting.
“Not only will we be renovating the inside of the G building, the entire outside will have a new skin on it,” Demonica said, “It will be designed with a combination of brick and glass, similar to the Health, Fitness and Recreation Center, allowing for plenty of natural light into the building.”
The new G building will also have three entrance doors, providing for easy access to the building from all walks of campus.
“We want the building to be easily accessible and provide a constant flow of students using the building’s many sections,” he said.
Plans call to ravamp its current gymnasium on the main level by adding on pre-function lounge space.
“Right now when you walk into the gymnasium in the G building, you walk right into the gym,” Demonica said, “We plan to better utilize the space by providing a pre-function lounge space that will allow for students to gather, socialize and prepare for using the gymnasium.”
The main level will also include a new student orientation room with seating possible for 280 students, along with a computer lab and a coffee bar.
The second level will contain a tutoring center that Domonica said will be flexible and diverse for students to use at their leisure.
“Our tutoring space is very small right now,” Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, Moraine president, said.
The second level will also hold a large testing center. The testing center will be relocated from the B building into the Student Success Center to allow for a larger student capacity. The testing center will overlook buildings S and U, providing for what officials hope is a peaceful outlook through class windows of the campus’s greenery. Demonica also plans for the second level to have two separate study rooms, one for honors students and one for veterans.
“I really like the fact that the honors space is right by the tutoring center on the second level,” Jenkins added.
However, with studying and testing being completed on the building’s second level, would it be possible for those students to be disrupted by the gymnasium on the lower level?
“There will be a double wall constructed to prevent any noise between the two separate levels of the building,” Demonica said.
He assured the board noise presently cannot even be heard in the existing G building between the current lower-level gymnasium and upper level classrooms.
“If anything, we will only be making the existing sound barriers even better,” he said.
This project was included in the college’s Facilities Master Plan. Demoinca has been working alongside Andy Duren, Executive Vice President of Administrative Services, on the proposed project plans. Together they will be going out to bid on the proposed project construction costs in greater detail and present the final numbers for approval by the April board meeting.
•The college came up with an alternate for the purchase of textbooks. Students can swap books among each other directly through the campus’s bookstore website.
“The expense of college textbooks is a constant complaint among students,” Eamon Almiladi, student trustee, said at the board meeting. “We believe we have found a solution for the overwhelming semester cost of textbooks.”
The textbook swap works in collaboration with the Moraine Valley bookstore website. Students have the option to search for a particular book they need for class, contact a seller on a page and list his or her own textbooks for future swapping. The transactions are made with no cost from student to student, however, bookstore employees oversee the website and guarantee all transactions and books listed are of proper class material.
“This is a much more affordable way for the school to provide textbooks to the students,” Almiladi said.

Conrady poet is honored

Isabelle Nowak was honored by the Anti-Defamation League for a poem she composed on the subject of “How The First Amendment Affects My Daily Life.”
The Conrady Junior High School eighth grader won first prize and a $5,000 scholarship at a dinner hosted by the ADL and held in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton Hotel. She attended the award’s dinner with her parents, Matthew and Sandra Nowak, and her social studies teacher Grant Griffith.
 Nowak wrote the poem as part of an extra credit assignment from Griffith, who gives his students a chance each year to submit an entry in the contest.
She read her poem in front of more than 500 guests assembled at the dinner. Numerous Chicago civic leaders judged the competition.
The Anti-Defamation League announced the 2014 First Amendment contest winners earlier this month for first and second place in the categories of writing and art for the middle school and high school divisions.
Several thousand students from the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Region entered their essays, works of art, and multimedia that expressed their personal beliefs and stories to the following question: “How does the First Amendment affect my daily life?”
 Nowak won first prize for penning the following poem:


 Raising people’s eyebrows,
Everyone’s a critic,
And all the one’s symptoms?
Diagnosed as paralytic.
Frozen to their spots.
Real talk, it’s parasitic.
Pen don’t fail me now,
My mind just can’t be restricted…
Freedom of Expression...
free me of oppression,
suppression,
regression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught…
Freedom can’t be bought,
the concept should be “re-thought.”
I’m out to prove my people’s struggle wasn’t all for naught..
Freedom of Expression,
My most treasured possession,
Vessel of transgression,
I can make my pen cry…
For when the ink runs dry,
So will the tears in my eyes..
I just pray that my honesty won’t be my demise…
Freedom of Expression..
free me of oppression,
suppression,
regression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught..
Freedom can’t be bought,
I will continue to speak it
and enlighten those in the dark,
through my art if they seek it..
All imperfections are perfect,
so feel free to critique it..
Please believe it..
Freedom of Expression.
—Submitted by
School District 117

Bulletin Board 11-20-14

GOVERNOR’S STATE
Governors State Golf Teams Find Official Home
  The growing Governors State University athletics program entered into an agreement with University Golf Club, making it the official home facility for GSU’s men’s and women’s golf teams. Beginning with the 2015 golf season, GSU will host collegiate tournaments at the Golf Club, along with team practices.
  University students, faculty and staff who have GSU Recreation and Fitness memberships will benefit from the agreement as well, with access to the course on weekdays and available tee times on weekends and holidays after 11 a.m. The University Park Golf Club offers elevated tees, rolling fairways and water, which come into play on nine of the holes. Highlights include a 623-yard par 5 and the course’s signature 17th hole, a difficult par 3 over water.

MARIST HIGH SCHOOL
Grammar School Students, Parents Can ‘Meet Marist’
  With the new academic year successfully underway, Marist High School, 4200 W. 115th St., Chicago, invites grammar school students and parents to visit and experience life at the school during an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.
  The open house gives grade school students and their families the chance to tour the school; meet with teachers, coaches, and staff; and review the academic, athletic, and extracurricular programs available at Marist. The day will also allow visitors to see Marist’s Academic Resource Center, student activity center, technology enhanced classrooms, athletic facilities and other state-of-the-art amenities.
  Additionally, Marist will host two Meet Marist events on Wednesday, Dec. 10, and Friday, Jan. 9. Both evenings will run from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The events will provide students and families with a brief presentation about the school, followed by an abbreviated tour and the chance to talk with students, teachers and coaches.
  Lastly, the opportunity to shadow at Marist as part of the Fridays at Marist program is available through Dec. 12. Students can register in advance at www.marist.net. For more information on these events, call 773-881-5330.

MORAINE VALLEY
Moraine Valley Receives Diversity Award For Third Year
  Moraine Valley Community College is among 83 U.S. colleges and universities that received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The college has been selected for this award since the magazine started the recognition program in 2012. Moraine Valley was one of six community colleges to receive the honor and the only community college to have received the award all three years.
  Moraine Valley was selected for the award because of its “outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion,” according to the magazine, which features the colleges in its November 2014 issue.
  Magazine officials stated that Moraine Valley was selected based on the institution’s exemplary diversity and inclusion initiatives, and ability to embrace a broad definition of diversity on its campus, including gender, race, ethnicity, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBT community.

MOUNT CARMEL
Mount Carmel High School Invites Prospective Honors Students, Parents To Campus
  Academically talented students interested in Mount Carmel’s distinguished honors/advanced placement program and Curt Ehrenstrom Scholars Fraternity are invited to attend the Honors Program Preview at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Carmel High School, 6410 S. Dante Ave., Chicago.
  At the Honors Program Preview, you’ll hear from Dean of the Honors Program and Curt Ehrenstrom Scholars Fraternity moderator Jeffrey Enright, Principal Mr. John Stimler, President Fr. Tony Mazurkiewicz, O.Carm, Mount Carmel alumni and faculty. Prospective families can find out how graduates of Mount Carmel have earned credits from the University of Chicago, registered for their first year of college with a full year’s worth of credits already complete, earned scholarships to some of the Nation’s top colleges and universities, and take an optional tour of Mount Carmel High School.
  Prospective students who attend the Honors Program Preview are also encouraged to attend the all school open house Tuesday, Dec. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m., or set up a shadow day and school tour with the admissions office.
  For more information, or to register, call Bill Nolan, director of admissions at 773-324-1020, ext. 265, or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Phil Segroves, associate director of admissions at 773-324-1020, ext. 281, or email him This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . More information and registration also is available at MCHS.org/HonorsProgramPreview201.

Mount Carmel Students And Faculty Participate In Blood Drive
  Mount Carmel High School students and faculty participated in a school sponsored blood drive in October, and 55 units of blood were collected. Julie Chappetto, an art teacher at Mount Carmel High School organized the blood drive.
  Mount Carmel will host two more blood drives, one on Tuesday, Jan. 13, and again in March. The donation goal is 85 units during the next blood drive Chappetto said.
  Regular donors can support Mount Carmel by registering their name under Mount Carmel High School at Life Source, a non-profit blood distribution organization and facilitator of Mount Carmel’s blood drive, and the school will get credit towards a scholarship fund of their choice.
  According to Life Source, they must see 1000 donors daily to ensure an adequate blood supply for area patients in need of transfusions in the hospitals they service. Chicago area school involvement is critical for adequate blood collection. Blood donation can help patients in severe car accidents, with bone marrow transplants, anemic patients, and cancer patients.

Bulletin Board from 10-23-14

Conrady Junior High School
Conrady Junior High School students Veronica Laurent and MacKenzie Kazin were selected from among hundreds of students representing 60 area schools to be part of
The Illinois Music Educators Association District Band that will perform in November. Both girls are members of the Conrady Band. The band will have an all-day rehearsal and a performance at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8 in the gymnasium of the Lockport Township High School’s East Campus. Tickets for the concert are $5, children 6 and younger are admitted free.

Moraine Valley
Moraine Valley Community College Music and Humanities Department will host The Many Moods of Mother Nature, Performed by the Moraine Valley Flute Choir at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24 in the Menker Theater on campus, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills. Admission is free.
The Moraine Valley Music Club will sponsor a haunted house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 and Thursday, Oct. 30 in the student union at the college. The cost is $3 per person and all proceeds will be given to the Moraine Food Pantry.

Love from the Gov

Quinn invests $2.2 million to SXU

Governor Pat Quinn announced a $2.2 million investment in Saint Xavier University on Saturday as part of a $100 million set aside this fiscal year in the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program that will address the critical needs of the state’s private colleges and universities. This investment is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to improve higher education in Illinois while creating thousands of construction jobs.
“We are so grateful to Governor Quinn for investing in the development of a state-of-the-art science facility that will help us prepare our diverse community of students for 21st century careers,” said SXU President Christine Wiseman. “This important investment illustrates the value the governor and SXU places on contemporary science equipment, facilities, and programs that prepare our students to meet the scientific challenges of this new millennium.”
Saint Xavier University will receive $2,280,092 to help fund construction of additional chemistry and biology labs as well as innovative learning environments designed to foster creativity and collaboration that introduce students to new laboratory techniques, experimental design opportunities, and statistical analysis. To date, SXU has received a total of $8,669,187 from the state of Illinois.
“Saint Xavier University has a long history of producing graduates who have done great things for Illinois and the nation, and this investment will help the school stay competitive so current and future students can continue to make a difference in the world,” Quinn said. “We are pleased to help Saint Xavier address its needs while creating jobs and moving our economy forward.”
So far under Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, private universities have received $300 million to address their capital needs.
Governor Quinn’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now! program is supporting more than 439,000 jobs over six years. Illinois Jobs Now! is the largest capital construction program in Illinois history, and is one of the largest capital construction programs in the nation.
—Submitted by St. Xavier University