Students of Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa will be able to more comfortably sit back, relax and enjoy shows in a renovated auditorium this fall.
Work includes the installation of new seating and carpeting. The Lake Villa Elementary District 41 school board on Monday approved a bid from Carroll Seating Co. for $54,462 to replace the seating. The carpeting replacement will cost an additional $31,000.
Superintendent John VanPelt said the school's auditorium is not used as much as it could be used.
"The auditorium is a little dated, and things are wearing out," VanPelt said. "When it's refurnished and everything and has a new look to it, I think it'll get utilized even more."
The current seats are original from 1968, and the carpeting is torn and in poor condition, said Patricia Volling, the district's business director. While officials will not be able to change the seating capacity, they will be able to include handicap seating for the first time.
Volling said the district is still looking into other improvements to original equipment, such as lighting and curtains, but such projects would be scheduled for later in this fiscal year.
"We couldn't fit it all into one summer," she said. "As it is, the seating will not be completed by summer."
The project is expected to take until Sept. 14 -- in time for the Palombi Players, an extracurricular theater group, to hold their first production of the year in the auditorium in November or December.
VanPelt said the renovated theater will likely bring new uses, such as community forum meetings, professional development meetings and any other events for which other organizations may want to use the space.
"This is a project we've had an interest in for a while," he said. "It will be appreciated not only by our staff but also by our community."