District construction halted indefinitely


Elisa Kajiwara

FILLED TO THE BRIM: The “little theater” struggled to host all of the attendees of a band concert on Friday, April 29, forcing ushers to stand in the back of the room.

Tiffany Kajiwara, Online Editor

The school’s construction has been put on hold due to an Illinois Supreme Court ruling stating that school districts are now subject to the zoning laws of local townships.

The district asked every school what they needed when they decided to devote the excess money to renovation and construction projects. After an extensive process receiving feedback from every school’s administrators, teachers, students and community members, they allocated a hefty amount of money to Elk Grove High School’s renovations and construction.

The building’s administration decided to extend fine arts’ storage space, replace the field house’s flooring, and install LED lights in both the field house and the gym. The majority of the money was to be dedicated to an additional field house, and there were to be some cosmetic renovations to the theater.

However, the Illinois Supreme Court’s recent ruling complicates matters. Previously, schools only had to get approval from their district before starting up construction projects, but now they must also go through the cities.

With a district of 214’s size, this law is especially troublesome. Elk Grove Village could approve of a specific plan for the construction of a new field house, but the city of Buffalo Grove might have different policies about the same plans, demanding the high school make changes; since they would like there to be a certain level of universality between buildings, the process becomes difficult.

Associate Principal Kyle Burritt said, “We’d be chasing our tails as a district.”

The district has decided that they will delay all construction projects until they can proceed properly and without risk of angering any community members, administrators, or students.

“Although it sucks for those students who are not going to be able to take advantage, in the long run it made sense to hold off and talk to Springfield lawmakers, talk to municipalities, and talk to our people, and then move forward,” said Burritt.

Students and teachers are impatient with the delays, especially regarding the theater. Considering its worn state, many people are asking for change.

With the theater’s limited stage and seating space, it can hardly house the concerts and performances for the fine arts groups as the programs continue to expand.

Band Director Ron Fiorito said, “The acoustics are less than ideal, and when we put the full concert band up there, it’s hard for the conductors to walk on the stage, much less allow the students enough room.”

The music programs often move to other venues such as other high schools, universities, or churches for their performances.

“We do our combined concerts in the gym, and for some of the other concerts, we do at Rolling Meadows because their auditorium is bigger,” said Fiorito.

There were plans to replace and possibly increase seating in the theater, but they have been halted for the time being.

It must be noted that the theater was not meant to be the school’s foremost performance venue.

Nicknamed the “little theater,” the current theater was intended for forums, classrooms, and other small events rather than for larger performances in the original plans for the building.

There was supposed to be a larger, primary auditorium for larger venues, such as musical performances, but after the school caught fire, the funds set aside for the larger theater were used to repair the damage.

Nevertheless, Joseph Wolfe, Fine Arts Director, described the current state of the theater as “functional, but not perfect.”

Despite the fact that construction across the district has been delayed until the administration determines how to best move forward, they are determined to finish the promised projects while taking the time to avoid mistakes.