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posted: 12/14/2012 2:27 PM

Dist. 214, Robert Morris to upgrade stadium together

Dist. 214, Robert Morris to upgrade stadium together

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  • The Robert Morris University football players run on the field on Sept. 3, 2011, for their first home game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights.

       The Robert Morris University football players run on the field on Sept. 3, 2011, for their first home game at Morris Field in Arlington Heights.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
Submitted by District 214

Two facilities at the Forest View Educational Center in Arlington Heights are being upgraded thanks to a recently approved partnership agreement with Robert Morris University.

The school board approved the agreement Dec. 13, while applauding the administration for finding a partner to help defray costs. This latest agreement supersedes the one already in existence between the two organizations.

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"I am pleased with the administration's ability to find creative ways to upgrade facilities at minimal cost to the taxpayers," said Board President James Perkins. "This is another great example of a collaboration resulting in a mutually beneficial project."

After determining that it is in their collective best interest to upgrade facilities, District 214 and RMU will make improvements to the stadium by installing a synthetic turf field and new stadium lights. The project's total cost is approximately $1.75 million and will be split among RMU, St. Viator High School who currently uses the stadium for its football games, and District 214. RMU also will sponsor a new press box.

Additionally, the field house will receive a makeover with new recessed hardwood floors, seating, scoreboards, scorer table, two team locker rooms, an officials' locker room, training room, entry vestibule and commons area. While plans have not been finalized yet, RMU will be securing funding for the field house upgrades. District 214 will maintain ownership of both facilities.

"We are excited to expand our partnership with District 214," said RMU Vice President for Brand and Image Christine Fisher. "This partnership enables us to offer more sporting events, such as basketball, volleyball and numerous activities in the RMU Athletic and Convocation Center on the Forest View campus."

RMU, St. Viator and District 214 representatives will meet twice a year to develop a fall and spring schedule for the stadium. Priority usage will be given to RMU who will use the stadium five days per week. St. Viator will have access to the stadium twice a week, and the school district reserves the right to use the stadium and field house on an emergency basis and when the facilities are not occupied.

"Since constructing a training facility on our property a few years ago, we have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Robert Morris University," said Dr. David R. Schuler, superintendent. "This expanded partnership will benefit not just District 214 and RMU but all members of the community through our Community Education programs."

RMU will continue to provide donor-sponsored scholarships for residents within the surrounding communities, as well as principal-selected scholarships for each District 214 high school.

Construction is expected to begin in May 2013 and be completed in August.

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