Barrington High TV students to get $140,000 news van
The students who are part of Barrington High School's television production program will soon be able to work with a professional news van paid for by donors and the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation.
The Barrington Area Unit School District 220 Board of Education approved the acquisition at their Tuesday meeting. The fully outfitted van will cost $139,064. Of that, $120,000 was raised by the foundation through October and the rest will be covered by a private donor.
Jeff Doles, the instructor for BHS-TV, said getting to work with the van and the professional equipment inside will further allow the students to learn on equipment that they might encounter in college and in the professional world.
"The state-of-the-art technology allow the students to have hands-on experience with the equipment that professionals use," Doles said. "We're very lucky to be in a supportive community."
The new van will be similar to those used by professional TV news outlets and include a custom appearance featuring the BHS-TV logo.
"It will increase our visibility, it will be like a driving billboard," Doles said. "It will let people know where we're at and that we're broadcasting."
Doles said while the van will be fully capable to cover breaking news, they haven't decided if that will be something they'll do. They say the van will help them out regardless by allowing them to broadcast from the field when they are out on assignment.
Alexander Gaul, a Barrington High senior and a BHS-TV student, said he is excited that in the future they'll be able to pull up anywhere in the community and be ready to broadcast in just 20 to 30 minutes, much faster than the two and a half to three hours it takes them to get ready now.
Because the van will take two to three months to be outfitted and delivered to Barrington, Gaul will only get to use it for a couple weeks in the spring before heading off to college.
"It's great to know future generations of BHS-TV are going to be able to take advantage of the van," Gaul said.
Gaul said he wants to continue his TV production education in college and wants to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
Students enrolled in BHS-TV learn how to operate cameras, edit video and use the medium to tell stories. The class has produced videos for local nonprofits, covered Barrington High sports and also puts on their own newscasts.
And for anyone wondering, because the van will be a district vehicle, no student will be allowed to drive it.