Construction builds brighter future for students


Aanya Gupta

Freshmen Sofia Kenig and Madelyn Wright measure out adult and embryonic stem cells in Ms. Elliot’s new biology room to discover which is more versatile.

This year, staff and students at Vernon Hills High School were able to fully experience and utilize additions to the building, which were constructed in late 2020, for the first time.

Construction at the high school included a brand new gym, a larger cafeteria, a STEM lab, a dance studio, two biology rooms, a new conference room, added teachers’ workspace, and more.

The impact of being able to fully utilize these new additions can be seen already.

Through the additions, students are receiving access to new technology and extra space. Teachers have gotten new equipment and a collaborative set up. Coaches were granted extra gym space.

Some of the drawbacks of the additions which have been pointed out by Holly Faitsch (10) and Paul Brettner, math teacher and head coach of the Varsity Girls Basketball team, include that at times it is difficult for students to navigate all the new buildings and that during construction, rerouting was inconvenient.

However, Brettner said that the inconveniences were minor and were worth the final end product. He believes that overall, the constructions were positive additions to the school.

“The gym, I knew, would definitely benefit my girls basketball program, both at our level and the feeder level,” Brettner said.

For him, there were some struggles prior to construction.

“On the athletic side, just trying to schedule practices was always kind of difficult,” Brettner said. “And also, our feeder teams sometimes didn’t get as much practice space as they would have liked… But now it looks like everybody should be pretty satisfied with the gym space they get.”

Biology teacher, Justina Doll is also very pleased with the new construction, and she particularly loves the set up of her classroom.

“I think whether it’s labs or just other activities, [the setup] really allows for them to kind of get the chance to ask each other questions together to kind of solve the problem. ”

Holly Faitsch also loves the biology lab and the new technology.

“They had really cool outlets that are attached to the ceilings and come straight down, reaching each lab table. Small additions like that in each lab room were really cool and impressive,” she said.

According to Brettner, these additions had been anticipated for quite some time.

“Maybe 15 years ago, before, there was a tough real estate market where things started getting more costly. I was told that we were looking at within the next five years getting a new gym, so I was very excited to see that news,” he said.

However, due to high market prices, the construction project was repeatedly delayed until 2019, when construction began.

Brettner believes that the wait has been worth it and there is nothing more he would add to the school at this time.

“They’ve done a really, really good job as far as I’m concerned,” he said.


Mae Oliva and Ruhi Subramanian contributed to this report.