Construction is already scheduled for next summer at Roosevelt Middle School in River Forest. But members of the District 90 school board spent time Monday night questioning some smaller details with a goal of making the building more user-friendly.

The school board meeting was the first time the board discussed the building’s exterior functionality and beautification, said Anthony Cozzi, director of finances and facilities for D90.

Board member Liz Fischer said Roosevelt, 7560 Oak Ave., is not very accessible or transparent, and the construction already scheduled make this a good time to consider the way visitors see the building. Fischer said she’d like to see some signage, lighting for nighttime activities and designation of who parks where in the surrounding lots.

Board member JuliAnn Geldner agreed there are simple things to be done to make the school easier to navigate. As long as the area will be full of trucks and mess from construction next summer, Geldner said, the smaller things might as well be done.

“It’s part of being a good neighbor,” Geldner said.

Patrick Meyer, vice president of the board, said he’s had five children go through the school and has never gotten lost. The fact that it’s a maze contributes to its charm, he said. “I guess I’m not so sure it’s broken.”

Starting June 1, Roosevelt will have its main office moved from the interior of the school to the entrance area, have outside paneling replaced with brick and have classrooms replace dead space in the building. Willard and Lincoln elementary schools have already had similar work done.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a tri-board forum in the coming months with superintendents from River Forest as well as Oak Park’s District 97 elementary schools and Oak Park and River Forest High School.

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