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FHS raising funds to create new learning space for library

Amber Stump McDowell, vice president of Libertyville Savings Bank, presents a donatio $10,000 donation to Brian Stone, Fairfield High School principal, tobe used toward new furniture for the high school library. Anyone who would like information about supporting the project can contact Stone at FHS.
Amber Stump McDowell, vice president of Libertyville Savings Bank, presents a donatio $10,000 donation to Brian Stone, Fairfield High School principal, tobe used toward new furniture for the high school library. Anyone who would like information about supporting the project can contact Stone at FHS.
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A fundraising effort is underway to update the Fairfield High School library’s furniture to help create the best learning environment possible for the students and staff.

FHS Principal Brian Stone said a renovation of the library last year restructured the space so that now it is just one big open area. The books are along the walls, and the former computer stations on the east end of the room are no longer needed because the 1:1 initiative provides each student with his or her own laptop computer.

The plan now is for the big, heavy wooden tables and chairs that have been in the library for years to be replaced with new orange and black tables and chairs that will be lightweight, and interchangeable so that they can be moved around to create the best learner-friendly environment for each project.

Stone said the new tables can be arranged from configurations ranging from one long table to being pulled apart for small-group tables, and the pieces in a sitting arrangement also can be moved about and set in any configuration that works for students.

The current plan is to have a seating capacity of 60 to 70 in the large open space in the center of the library, but if funds are available, Stone said more furniture could be ordered.

“We are trying to create a space for collaboration, communication and creativity similar to our 21st Century Room,” said Stone. “We want to create the best learning environment possible for our students. We’re always looking at doing things bigger and better for our students and staff.”

Stone said about 30 to 40 students are using the library in some capacity during every class period each day, but the new furniture will promote even more use of the library.

“It is just a different environment than the traditional classroom,” he continued. “Students can sit in groups, they can have projects set on the tables … it’s not a typical classroom.”

Stone said several businesses and individuals have already expressed an interest in helping to support this latest update to the library.

“The community has always been so supportive of the high school … and it is more than appreciated by our students and staff,” he continued. “Now we’re excited about offering this new opportunity.

Anyone who would like to help fund the library furniture can contact Stone at FHS: 472- 2059 or brian.stone@fairfieldsfuture.org.

“I’ll be happy to share information and show what the end result will be,” he said.

All donors will be recognized in a listing on a plaque outside the library, unless otherwise preferred.

Individuals and businesses also will be able to receive a tax receipt from the Fairfield Community School District for donation purposes.

The levels of donation are: Bronze, up to $1,000; Silver, $1,001 to $5000; Gold, $5,001 to $10,000; and Platinum, $10,001 to $50,000.

Stone is hoping to order the furniture “pretty soon.” Delivery takes about five weeks, and “we hope to have it in place by the start of the second semester or at least by the start of the fourth quarter,” he said.

The second semester of the 2018-19 school year begins Jan. 21. The fourth quarter begins April 1.