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Elizabeth Forward students seek expanded hours for new media center

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 7:01 a.m.

Students in Elizabeth Forward School District would like the high school library to offer longer hours.

Junior Rachel Pastor, a student representative to the school board, said on Wednesday that some students would like the recently renovated library stay open beyond the 2:30 p.m. dismissal time.

“It's kids who want to utilize the technology that is there,” she said.

The library, now known as the EF Media Center, was rebuilt this fall with a $165,000 grant from the Grable Foundation and about $15,000 in district funds. Based on the YOUMedia concept developed by Chicago Public Library, the facility includes a cafe, separate studios for video and audio recording, a small performance space, banks of laptop and desktop computers, and features such as flat-screen TVs, artwork and lighting improvements.

Pastor said students who are working on music projects, who lack computers at home or who just want a place to study want the library to stay open for at least an hour after school.

Superintendent Bart Rocco said the district is trying to find someone who will supervise the library for the extra time. Right now, he said, the librarian is available only until 3 p.m. He said a teacher could staff the library for the extra hour.

Rocco said the demand is what the district hoped would happen when it made the improvements.

“It's exactly what we want to happen,” he said.

He said the staffing problem should be the only roadblock to extending the center's hours, and noted that “the activities buses (are) in place.”

Terry Halt reported that plans for the high school band boosters' second annual summer carnival June 24-29 continue to take shape.

Halt said plans are for entertainment provided by a DJ, rock band and high school musicians and majorettes, and fireworks on the final night.

He said there will be special discount nights for families, people in the military and their relatives, and emergency workers.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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