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District 158 eyes more Huntley High School upgrades

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 4:53 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 11:47 p.m. CDT

HUNTLEY – District 158 board members Thursday will sign off on upgrades to the tennis courts, softball field and other outdoor areas at Huntley High School, adding roughly $1.5 million to the expansion project.

The latest athletic field improvements come after crews spent last summer installing synthetic turf at the Red Raiders football stadium and renovating the school’s soccer and baseball fields.

District administrators had room in the project budget to proceed with the $1.52 million in additional upgrades after contractors late last year finished designing $29.78 million in core improvements to the high school.

“Based on our prioritization, they wanted to make sure our athletic and academic needs were out of final design before we started pursuing additional athletic improvements,” said Doug Renkosik, operations and maintenance district director.

The additional athletic upgrades include construction of irrigation systems underneath the softball field and football practice field. Crews also will reconstruct tennis courts, resurface the softball field and discus area, and add stadium lighting.

The $1.52 million in upgrades includes $446,250 to construct a second parking entrance along Harmony Road that will lead to a new student parking lot. It includes a $99,750 engineering fee to Palatine firm Wold to design the improvements.

The school’s athletic booster club also recently addressed other athletic improvements, donating $20,000 for new scoreboards at the varsity baseball and softball fields, according to board documents. Board members voiced support for the upgrades during a committee meeting earlier this month. The added projects will coincide with larger improvements to the high school, set to start later this spring, Renkosik said.

The $29.78 million high school expansion includes new classroom space and science labs, a repurposed library, a retooled cafeteria and multiple common areas, along with a newly built field house. District officials revealed the school expansion plans early last year, saying the changes were needed to accommodate the 3,000 students who are expected to enter Huntley High by the end of the decade. The added athletic improvements increase the cost of the total expansion project to $34.95 million. Officials are using a $39 million construction grant from the state to pay for the expansion.

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