Students' mural transforms underpass in Rolling Meadows

  • A 92-foot mural on the Kirchoff Road underpass in Rolling Meadows' Kimball Hill Park highlights various recreational activities in all four seasons.

    A 92-foot mural on the Kirchoff Road underpass in Rolling Meadows' Kimball Hill Park highlights various recreational activities in all four seasons. Courtesy of Rolling Meadows Park District

 
 
Posted6/9/2022 12:16 PM

Rolling Meadows High School art students put the finishing touches this week on a 92-foot mural on the wall of the Kirchoff Road pedestrian underpass connecting to Kimball Hill Park.

Rolling Meadows High School student Natalia Grzeda paints a section of a 92-foot mural along the Kirchoff Road underpass near Kimball Hill Park.
Rolling Meadows High School student Natalia Grzeda paints a section of a 92-foot mural along the Kirchoff Road underpass near Kimball Hill Park. - Courtesy of Rolling Meadows Park District

The mural -- which depicts recreational activities in all four seasons and highlights the park district's vision and tagline, "Play Learn Grow" -- transforms a formerly dark, discolored cement wall that's passed by walkers, runners, bikers and skaters daily.

The project was spearheaded by Kailey Schwartzhoff, the park district's recreation supervisor, who came to the high school art club last fall looking for help.

Rolling Meadows High School art teachers Martha Nava, from left, and Kathy Pach were behind the effort to transform a dark, discolored cement wall into a student art mural.
Rolling Meadows High School art teachers Martha Nava, from left, and Kathy Pach were behind the effort to transform a dark, discolored cement wall into a student art mural. - Courtesy of Rolling Meadows Park District

Students worked on designs and met with park district administrators, while the underpass space was secured from city officials. The wall was power washed and sealed to prepare it for use as a massive canvas. JC Licht Benjamin Moore, located in the nearby shopping center, donated paint and supplies, according to the park district.

The design features eight circles showcasing various recreational activities, set upon color blocks. Bordering the top and bottom of the mural are strips of purple and yellow paint -- the school's colors.

Emily Podejko, a junior at Rolling Meadows High School, helps paint the mural along the Kirchoff Road underpass on a recent Saturday afternoon.
Emily Podejko, a junior at Rolling Meadows High School, helps paint the mural along the Kirchoff Road underpass on a recent Saturday afternoon. - Courtesy of Rolling Meadows Park District

"It's pretty cool to know I contributed to this and it will be here forever," said Emily Podejko, a junior at the high school and member of the art club who stopped by to paint on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Schwartzhoff, who worked with art teacher Martha Nava on the project, said the school and park district partnership gives students the opportunity to showcase their work and leave a lasting legacy.

"We're so excited to have these talented students create a work of art along this key amenity in Rolling Meadows," Schwartzhoff said.

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