Plan for second gym at Vernon Hills High put on hold

  • Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials have been debating whether to replace the swimming pool at Libertyville High. They've shelved plans to build a second gym at Vernon Hills High.

    Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 officials have been debating whether to replace the swimming pool at Libertyville High. They've shelved plans to build a second gym at Vernon Hills High. Courtesy of District 128

 
 
Updated 10/10/2016 9:23 PM

Plans to build a second gym at Vernon Hills High School are being shelved.

A new dance studio, locker rooms and a weight room were part of the $7 million plan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The decision not to move forward with the project followed months of "deep discussion," Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 Superintendent Prentiss Lea told the school board's facilities and finance committee Monday.

Those conversations included reviews of the district's saving accounts and a dire prediction that those reserves could be dry within six years if officials don't change spending habits.

Officials haven't yet decided if a plan to build a new pool at Libertyville High will move forward.

That project could cost $20 million and would include the demolition of the old district office, the construction of a road and other ancillary work.

Officials would have to determine what to do with the space the current pool occupies.

After discussing elements of the aquatic proposal Monday, the facilities committee opted to schedule a special committee-of-the-whole meeting and dedicate it to reaching a decision on the plan.

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"We need to bring this to closure," board President Pat Groody said. "I want a straight up or down vote."

The committee didn't set a date for the session.

The gym and pool projects initially were proposed in 2014. They resurfaced earlier this year.

An estimated $8 million is included in the 2017 fiscal year's budget for the gym and pool projects.

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