There were 25 members present, but many guests attended to see the progress on the New Trier school construction. Guests were: Martine Mead, Deb Guy, and Jacquie Linney (all guests of Terry Dason); Ann Smith; Chuck Sprowl (Joe Fell guest); Jim Corboy (Liz Taylor guest); Dave Shannahan (John Thomas guest); Joanne Baker (Bob’s bride); Julia Birkenstein (Eric’s daughter and David’s granddaughter);  Katie and Andrew Shook (Patti’s daughter and son-in-law); Nick Mostardo (Winnetka’s assistant Finance Director).
Announcements were: Our next meeting is on Wednesday, April 5 at the WCH at 6:00 pm with the other New Trier Rotary Clubs-- Ed Futa, Retired Rotary Int’l General Secretary will be the speaker and you should RSVP to Rich by this coming Sunday. Also tell Patti if you are willing to volunteer to help to sign people in or assist at the bar. There will be no regular Rotary meeting on April 6.   Rich Lalley announced that the Cubs tickets for the game in Milwaukee in July need to be ordered through him by Friday to be eligible for the discount.  The Chamber Recognition Luncheon is on April 12 at 11:00 and Patti would like to have one or two tables of local Rotarians sit at the Rotary table—tell Patti or contact the Chamber if you can attend.  Everyone should try to attend the Club’s annual benefit on May 12th at the Kenilworth Club—the theme being “Celebrate, Good Times Come On” featuring  entertainer Marshall Nelson, former pianist for Kool and the Gang.
New Trier Superintendent Linda Yonke and math teacher Paul Sally (Linda’s successor) gave a very informative and impressive tour of some of the new construction at New Trier high school. It is finishing Phase I and is about 40% completed. The rest is supposed to be done by sometime this Fall—a deadline that is somewhat dubious!  We saw the “Student Commons” (formerly called the cafeteria) where there is a wide variety of food (including coffee) for purchase and seating areas conducive to student conversations. The area will accommodate about 1100 students (total student population is about 3000); there is a “gathering” stairs which is part stairs and part tiers of platforms where students can sit and have their lunch. We went up to the new “Library Commons” which is larger than the old library and has a variety of seating areas for students to study and converse. Located there is a duplicate of the  1912 fireplace that was in the old building. From there we saw the skylight area with its 5 story atrium. The classrooms are bigger and more varied with respect to types of  tables and chairs used. There are both regular tables and “tall” tables used in the classrooms with some having both styles of tables. There is carpeting in most classrooms rather than wood or tile floors—even though carpeting is tougher to keep clean, its durability is much greater than before,  it keeps the room more quiet, and the furniture does not move around as much as on solid floors. The technology in the classrooms is very advanced with the large “white boards” being able to show material from the instructor’s computer as well as the students’ own I- Pads.  All students have their own I-Pads with the school subsidizing the cost of same. The classrooms have more windows,  more light, better acoustics and most classrooms have a small meeting room attached. The students and teachers were all given the chance to give input on the makeup of these classrooms over the last year or so. Although the Gaffney auditorium was not replaced it will now be air conditioned. The gym will be about the only area not air conditioned in the new building. The part of the north wall of the old building with the art deco has been preserved within a glass wall and has a patio on its top, which is now the teachers’ lounge. There is a “green roof” on the West side of the new building’s top  floor with many plantings already in place. The consensus of those touring was that the comparison between the old building and the new space is unbelievable; that many people (including the professionals, workers,  teachers and students) did a great job in creating a fantastic learning center for our high school students; and that the tour made most of us want to “go back to school”.