Skip to content

Foundation gets $50,000 from Shell toward multipurpose center at Roxana High


BELOW: Laura Ballard, director of special education, left holding check, and Tim Converse, special education teacher, right holding check, following a presentation with several students and Shell managers Ed Platt, far right back row, and Kevin Dyer, center back row.

From Illinois Business Journal news services

ROXANA – Representatives from Shell Oil Products US visited Roxana High School to present a grant to the Roxana Schools Foundation to help complete a new Multipurpose Student Center at Roxana High School.

The $50,000 grant is aimed at helping the school district to meet a community need for a safe, accessible gathering place for students that can be used outside of school hours, while also being available for community groups and service agencies.

shellgrantShell has been a longtime Roxana schools supporter. It was a donation from Shell back in the early 1940s that helped to bridge a gap in the financing needed to complete construction and outfitting of the original school building.

Shell has continued its commitment to the community, even though the company no longer operates the Wood River Refinery.

“While we no longer run the refinery, our company is committed to this community, and it’s important to our organization to identify opportunities to demonstrate our continuing commitment to the communities where we have done business,” said Ed Platt, manager, Shell Oil Products US.

The Multipurpose Student Center dovetails with the company’s priority of focusing on projects aiding community, education and the environment, he said.

The school district has gradually been transforming the former cafeteria space, but lacked the funds to implement a broader vision for the repurposed space. The vision calls for a safe gathering place for students, particularly outside of school hours; and a place where they can utilize their one-to-one technology in a collaborative setting.

The goal is for the new center to be open to students before and after school hours with supportive district staff available for tutoring and guidance. It is envisioned as a place with wireless internet, presentation boards, and state of the art work tools.

“The district should be applauded for the great progress it has made in creating a brand new amenity to support students and the community at large,” said Platt. “And we’re very pleased that this grant from Shell will enable the school district to proceed with purchasing all of the furnishings and fittings necessary to complete the space and make it a haven for students and other community members to enjoy for years to come.”

“The grant will allow us to create a 21st Century Learning Center that facilitates critical thinking and problem-solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation,” noted Debra Kreutztrager, superintendent of the Roxana Community Unit School District 1. “Traditional classrooms have physical barriers that will be eliminated within the new space that we are proud to call the Shell Center.”

Kreutztrager said the center will promote student interaction, with multiple zones within the space without changing the architectural footprint. Each zone has a specific and intended activity, which drove the furniture and finish selections being funded by Shell.

The first zone, the café area, is immediately adjacent to the recently debuted Café de Shell. The grant will provide bar height seating and round tables which will draw students to linger in the space and enjoy products sold in the café.

An extension of the café area is a lounge and art display niche; this zone is central to the space and will provide an area for casual interactions and student art display and appreciation. The furniture selections include a grouping of lounge chairs and occasional tables as well as a bar height island with stools.

The third zone, the collaboration area, includes three multi-media tables with mobile marker boards which can act as dividers to create smaller breakout groups within the overall space.

The fourth space, the classroom area, enables classroom style learning with tables that can be grouped together or separated to create small groups, similar to a classroom setting. Also, the tables can be moved out of the way and the seating can be used to form a lecture set up in coordination with the next zone.

The fifth zone, the classroom lounge, is centered on a projection wall that can be used for viewing video presentations. The space will incorporate softer lounge chairs, easy to move cube ottomans and modular carpet tiles. This zone will be used for classroom purposes, faculty development meetings and community events.

The last zone, the quiet study area, is located adjacent to the classroom lounge. This space will also incorporate softer lounge seating and carpet tiles for more acoustic control. Additionally, this zone will provide tables for independent study or tutoring.

“Overall, furniture and materials have been thoughtfully selected to outfit a carefully planned space which will create an appealing atmosphere to draw students in to learn and engage, thus preparing them for the next step in their lives,” Kreutztrager said.

Leave a Comment