Cary-Grove High School's theater facilities are getting a facelift this summer.
Crystal Lake High School District 155 board members this week approved spending roughly $3.7 million to renovate and overhaul the Cary school's 50-year-old theater, main entrance and lobby restrooms.
"It's a complete tear down and rebuild of the theater. It's a significant project," district spokesman Jeff Puma said. "This was the first round of substantial bids."
The yearlong project will entail building a new 650-seat theater and accompanying lobby, multipurpose room, restrooms, dressing rooms and scene shop. Work already has begun and is expected to be complete by next June.
The first phase of the project involves demolition and exterior structural work and reconfiguring the main entrance to provide enhanced safety and security during school days, Puma said.
The upgrades will modernize the building and bring it up to current standards of being Americans With Disabilities Act compliant, Puma said.
A future second phase will involve interior renovations, such as seating, lighting, curtains, backstage areas and other internal elements.
The total project cost for both phases of construction is expected to be $8.5 million.
The project is being funded in part through $1.5 million in donations from the Cary Grove Fine Arts Foundation, which includes alumni and community members.
"That's really helping us make this a reality," Puma said. "Two-thirds of that (money) is coming from a single donor."
The district also has hired a new director of operations and maintenance, Jeff Daurer, to oversee the project.
It's the first District 155 high school to receive a complete theater overhaul.
Other building improvement projects are underway at each of the schools this summer.
At Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, half the roof is being replaced this year and the other half will be replaced next year, Puma said.
Seven science labs at all four district high schools also are being renovated and will be ready for the start of classes this fall, he added.