District 128 discussing $31.6 million in construction projects
Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 residents can learn more about construction projects proposed for both campuses during public discussions this month.
Projects totaling $31.6 million are being considered, with most of the money slated for an expansion and renovations at Vernon Hills High.
The first community meeting is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Vernon Hills High, 145 Lakeview Parkway. The second is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 18, at Libertyville High, 708 W. Park Ave.
The same information will be presented at both meetings, officials said.
"It's a great opportunity for residents in the district to understand what our plans are and to hear why we believe it is important to move forward at this time," board President Pat Groody said. "It will certainly be a time where residents can ask questions and provide input."
The construction proposals were unveiled this summer.
The plan for Vernon Hills High envisions eight new classrooms; a lab for science, technology, engineering and math programs; a cafeteria expansion; a second gym; and a new dance studio.
With nearly 1,500 students, Vernon Hills' enrollment is at an all-time high and is expected to keep rising due to residential developments planned for the area, board member Scott Luce said.
"As a result, we are considering a capital plan to address both the expected increase in student enrollment and the associated curriculum needs," Luce said.
Those projects would total about $26.2 million, according to the latest estimates.
At Libertyville High, officials are considering repurposing a soon-to-be-surplus indoor swimming pool into space for physical education and extracurricular programs. That could cost about $5 million.
The pool is being replaced by a new $21.5 million aquatic center that's under construction in a different spot on campus. It should open in the spring.
All the projects will be funded with district savings. Officials say they won't borrow any money for the work and tax rates won't be affected.
Trustees could vote to seek construction bids Jan. 29. Construction could begin in the spring at both campuses.
Tentatively, the Libertyville High work could be completed in spring 2020 and the Vernon Hills High work could wrap up that fall, District 128 spokeswoman Mary Todoric said.
Although most of the proposed construction is slated for Vernon Hills High, board member Lisa Hessel considers the projects balanced between the two campuses because of the current pool construction at Libertyville High.
Libertyville's parking lot is being enlarged, too.
Folks should be proud of the pending improvements, Hessel said.
"I'm excited for community members to see both how impressive and fiscally responsible the plans are," she said.
Tuesday's community meeting is set for Vernon Hills High's studio theater. The Dec. 18 meeting will be in Libertyville High's studio theater.
Additionally, school board members and administrators will discuss the proposals at a Jan. 14 facilities and finance committee meeting and at the Jan. 29 board meeting.
The committee meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Libertyville High library. The board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Vernon Hills High library.