Renovated Round Lake High stadium to make debut at homecoming on Friday
When Round Lake High School's football teams take the field Friday for homecoming, they will be playing on new turf under gleaming lights, surrounded by fans in bleachers that have been rebuilt from the ground up.
Round Lake Area Unit School District 116 officials will officially open the new $7 million athletic facilities at Round Lake High School, built over the summer, during homecoming celebrations on Friday.
Superintendent Donn Mendoza said the old facilities were out-of-date and unsafe.
"If our facilities were in working condition, we would not have gone down this path," Mendoza said. "That said, this is something to celebrate. I think it can be viewed as a gathering hub for the community and something everyone can be proud of."
The ribbon-cutting ceremony will start after the freshman-sophomore football game, which district spokeswoman Heather Bennett said should be from 6:15 to 7 p.m. The varsity game will follow.
Bennett said the district is expecting a large crowd and will alleviate parking concerns by running shuttle buses between the high school and other district buildings.
"A lot of people have contributed to this process, and it has been a long time coming," Mendoza said. "I'm most pleased for the students, and that's why I'm eager to get it going."
Mendoza said crews will likely be working on the project right up to the deadline Friday.
Construction began after a groundbreaking ceremony in April, but the rain soon turned the field into something of a mud pit. The project called for nearly every existing structure to be leveled and replaced, including the bleachers, press box and fencing.
The bleachers that surrounded the stadium were built in the 1960s and didn't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The stadium lighting was built in the 1980s and, like other parts of the stadium, required near-constant repair, officials said.
The project also included the construction of tennis courts. The school's tennis teams had been using off-site courts.
The sod for new multisport practice fields, also part of the project, was recently laid so those fields likely won't be ready until spring.