District 113 committed to Deerfield auditorium renovation, but high bids postpone it

  • Highland Park senior Julia Kerpel, a third-generation black belt in karate, earned a silver medal and two bronze medals for the USA Junior Karate Delegation at the 2022 International Maccabiah Games in Israel in July.

    Highland Park senior Julia Kerpel, a third-generation black belt in karate, earned a silver medal and two bronze medals for the USA Junior Karate Delegation at the 2022 International Maccabiah Games in Israel in July. Courtesy of Melissa Kerpel

Updated 8/18/2022 11:00 AM

A project to rebuild the Deerfield High School Performing Arts Center has been temporarily tabled after bids came in $10 million higher than initially projected.

Bids qualified by Pepper Construction, originally expected to be for a $37 million renovation, had raised to $47 million as a result of inflation, supply chain issues and high demand for construction materials and supplies, according to Township High School District 113.


Meeting on June 28, the school board considered the bids but did not accept them due to the construction inflation.

The board initially requested school administration work with the Fine Arts Department to discuss options on how to improve the auditorium, and considered scheduling a Facilities Commission meeting.

However, at the board's July 12 meeting it voted to cancel contracts and put the project on hold.

The board said enhancements to the space will be made until the project can be resumed.

District 113 remains committed to replacing the auditorium and having Deerfield High School administration investigate options and work with the Fine Arts Department to improve the functionality of the auditorium, a district spokesperson state.

Fairy tales indeed

Evanston resident Anne Beall, an author as well as the founder and CEO of the market consultancy company Beall Research, will discuss and sign copies of her latest book, "Cinderella Didn't Live Happily Ever After: The Hidden Messages in Fairy Tales," from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 728 Waukegan Road.

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The event is well-timed, with Women's Equality Day on Aug. 26.

"Cinderella Didn't Live Happily Ever After," a 5-star winner of the Gold Literary Titan Award, takes a data-driven approach to messages and themes found in fairy tales, which Beall sought solace in after long days. She analyzed them in terms of messages about marriage, power, agency, suffering, and good vs. evil.

What she found in these tales were consistent themes of women being passive and weak, the men positive and strong. When both were depicted as having power, male characters were portrayed as being mostly good while the women were written as often evil.

Beall concluded that while fairy tales are not necessarily to be seen as "good or bad," their messages may reinforce certain types and attitudes of the two genders.

Beall, who earned a doctoral degree in social psychology from Yale, has written nearly a dozen business journal articles entries as well as 10 books. "Heartfelt Connections" was named among the top 100 independent releases in 2016 by Shelf Unbound.


In addition to her Aug. 20 signing at the Deerfield Barnes & Noble, she'll be at Barbara's Bookstore locations in Burr Ridge from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Aug. 21 and at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 27.

Vegetarian lifestyle

A Vegetarian Fest will be held at the alfresco space called The Lot in Highland Park on Aug. 20. Events are held at the south portion of the St. John's Lot, 523 Central Ave., at the northwest corner of Central and St. Johns avenues.

From 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 20, people can sample vegetarian and vegan foods from local purveyors -- from sweets and snacks to appetizers and entrees.

The event will include cooking demonstrations and discussions on vegetarianism, offer sustainably created arts and crafts, and presentations and readings by the Psychic Chakra Meditation Studio.

Different events at the "Experiential Stage" are scheduled hourly from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A special feature of "Veg Fest" will be music from DJ Taz Rashid on The Lot's Main Stage. A nationally and internationally touring performer, Rashid will play a variety of House, New World, Devotional and other musical styles while representatives of local fitness and wellness studios lead classes in yoga, Tai Chi, belly dancing and mindfulness. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own mats to these sessions.

Rashid will similarly be there throughout Vegetarian Fest, in conjunction with classes led by mind, body and spirit businesses including Body Evolve, Buddha Warriors and the Temple of Kung Fu.

Moving online

The Village of Deerfield is in the process of moving its permitting online using the OpenGov platform.

The first step came Aug. 8 when roofing permits were moved online. Once registered, the roofing contractor can file the permit application and pay for it.

In coming months, more permit applications will be shifted online to help streamline the process.

For information, visit deerfieldil.viewpointcloud.com.

Cop on a Rooftop

If visiting Deerfield's Dunkin' Donuts location at 499 Lake-Cook Road, from 5 a.m.-noon on Friday, Aug. 19, be happy to hand over your wallet to a police officer -- or a bill or two out of it.

Friday is the 20th anniversary of Dunkin' Donuts and Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. In that time, more than $6.7 million has been raised for Special Olympics through Cop on a Rooftop. Last year it raised nearly $870,000 statewide.

The fundraiser also is held in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

It's pretty simple. From 5 a.m.-noon, a police officer stationed on the roof at selection Dunkin' Donut locations will ask for donations. Each guest who makes a donation will receive a coupon for a free doughnut. Those who donate $10 or more receive a coupon for a medium hot coffee, plus a travel mug, as long as they're available.

In Highland Park, a "cop on a rooftop" is scheduled for the Dunkin' Donuts store at 1990 Skokie Valley Road.

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