A new swimming pool, an artificial turf football field, a music wing and new security measures are just some of the projects Northwest Suburban High School District 214 might be spending $45 million of excess funds on over the next three years.
The recommendations of the Capital Projects Feasibility Task Force were presented to the school board on Thursday night and included major facility upgrades to all six of the district's high schools.
The recommendations, which the board will vote on Sept. 4, include an aquatic facility for Prospect High School, one of the three District 214 schools without a pool; and a turf field for Elk Grove High School, the last remaining school without synthetic turf.
The recommendations are the result of nearly a year of study by district officials, plus feedback from resident and student advisory councils and the public about how to spend the district's surplus money.
"We know this process took a little longer than some might have hoped," said Superintendent David Schuler. "But we had so many people involved and we're so excited for the results."
The report also includes a new music wing and a renovated literacy lab for Buffalo Grove; a new gym and renovated theater for Elk Grove; renovated classrooms, a modified parking lot and an expanded academic resource center for Hersey; an additional gym and renovated aquatic center for Wheeling; and a new theater and more musical instruments for Rolling Meadows.
All high schools would get additional fine and performing arts storage, renovated outdoor storage and concessions space, as well as security vestibules to make the school entryways safer.
The district is also considering creating a community help center on property near the Forest View Administration Center that would serve as a clothes closet and food pantry for the community and a space for students to get in community service hours.
The construction projects would take place over the next three years with two schools being upgraded each year. Regular building maintenance projects, which usually make up $5 million to $8 million of the district's budget, will continue.
Board members were impressed by the results.
"I was blown away by the concept of doing the community survey," said member Mark Hineman.
"I was apprehensive of what the outcome would be, but it seems like it was run really smoothly. I did not expect to be getting even half of this. It's awesome."