Officials: State of Arlington Heights strong

 
 
Updated 4/30/2015 10:37 AM
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  • Jake Chung, assistant superintendent for personnel and planning in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, speaks to residents at the State of the Village event at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Wednesday.

      Jake Chung, assistant superintendent for personnel and planning in Arlington Heights Elementary District 25, speaks to residents at the State of the Village event at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Wednesday. Melissa Silverberg | Staff Photographer

  • "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez is chosen for the 2015 One Book, One Village program.

      "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez is chosen for the 2015 One Book, One Village program. Melissa Silverberg | Staff Photographer

The state of Arlington Heights, and its library, park districts and many school districts, is healthy, officials said during the annual community conversation on Wednesday night.

Nearly 100 residents attended the "State of the Village" at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library to hear updates on the various governing bodies in town.

"The state of the village of Arlington Heights is strong, and the quality of life we enjoy here is second to none," said Mayor Tom Hayes.

Hayes updated the group on significant developments of the past year including the hiring of new Village Manager Randy Recklaus, changing the budget to a calendar year, and ongoing progress on the police station, Metropolis and flooding issues.

Costs for concept plans for the new police station are expected later this spring, as is a new business plan for Metropolis and drafts of flooding studies that have been ongoing for several years, he said.

"This has been a very significant year," Hayes said.

School district leaders updated the crowd on their efforts to introduce technology into the classroom and the ways they are dealing with increasingly diverse and low-income populations.

Sharon Roberts, school board president in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, said its poverty rate has doubled over the past 10 years and that there are 65 different languages being spoken at their students' homes.

The district is building an early childhood learning center that will consolidate prekindergarten into one place and free up room to offer full day kindergarten, Roberts said.

"It's much easier to get kids where they need to be earlier on," she said.

Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 is considering offering dual language in two of its elementary schools because of its high diversity. Classes are already being taught in English, Spanish, Polish and Russian, said Superintendent Kate Hyland.

Officials from Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 also spoke.

The Arlington Heights Park District is celebrating its 90th year and is working with Hersey High School to upgrade the football stadium bleachers and concession stands as well as beginning an overhaul of Arlington Lakes Gold Course later this summer, said board President Mary Fran Leno.

Jason Kuhl, executive director of the library, capped off the night by announcing the 2015 One Book One Village selection -- "The Book of Unknown Americans," a novel by Hinsdale author Cristina Henriquez.

The book will be available at the library, which will host a variety of programs including an event with the author at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Nov. 12.

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