VHHS undergoes construction


The front of the school is one of the many areas being constructed.

This summer, Vernon Hills High School started its plans to add more classrooms, cafeteria space and sports accommodations. This change is projected to be completed by the Fall of 2020, but the construction during the school year has caused a mixed reaction within the student body at Vernon Hills High School.

In 2010, D128’s Board of Education planned the addition of a new gym but this failed to be issued.

Now, with five years of consideration and the increase of projected enrollment of incoming freshman classes, D128’s administration plans to expand the school based on its demographic needs.

“We have five curricular departments that are at or near 90% capacity,” Guillaume stated.

 According to a recent count, Vernon Hills High School has 1,489 students enrolled. Every student must be enrolled in a physical welfare class and Vernon Hills High School has three gyms that are primarily used: main gym, field house, and weight room. There are a total of nine physical welfare classes that share these three facilities every day.

In fact, the weights program at VHHS had to be extended into parts of the field house in order to supply equipment to all students. Because of this, the field house carries three different classes at once, only being separated by a tarp.

The same ideas can be reflected in a statement from D128 Board Member, Dr. Prentiss Lea.

“An analysis of classroom usage was completed to determine the current and future needs for classrooms at VHHS. The proposed new classrooms will be able to accommodate both the expected increase of student enrollment and current curriculum needs,” Lea said at a capital plan meeting in Dec. 2018.

Vernon Hills High School will also see a change in the cafeteria. The school’s current cafeteria is almost at full capacity, which means that the school can only issue half-period lunches in order to accommodate every student.

The extension of the cafeteria can allow for students to have 45-minute lunch periods and allow for the school to add healthier options to the menu.

While the extensions are meant to improve the future of VHHS, the construction of the plans poses as a disturbance during the school day.

Rebecca Alterson (12) shareed her dismay with how the construction affects her experience in the classroom.

“I sit right next to the window and pretty much all I can hear is like banging with the construction. It’s really hard for me to focus and focus on my learning in class,” Alterson said.

 While there have been negative experiences with the construction, there are those who are optimistic about the changes.

Ms. Jaffe, the Dance teacher, said that she’s excited for the future of the dance program as the school plans to construct a dance studio.