Regardless of your sport of choice as a Highland Park High School athlete, parent, or spectator, it almost certainly will be impacted if voters approve the district’s $361 million bond proposal on Nov. 3.
The plan calls for an extensive overhaul of athletic facilities at HPHS that might not change where your favorite sports compete, but it most likely will affect where they practice, or train, or store their equipment, or meet with coaches.
The idea, of course, is to modernize training facilities and expand locker rooms to help alleviate issues across the board. For example, the softball team currently has its lockers in an old storage room, and the wrestling team practices in a cramped basement.
The list is extensive, but basically every sport at HPHS contends with space that’s either inadequate or outdated in some fashion.
So let’s start with Highlander Stadium, the largest and most visible venue on the campus. The bond plan would allow for $5.3 million in renovations underneath the home stands and to the press box. Specifically, restrooms and locker rooms would be updated, and the student section would be reconfigured to allow for accessibility for those with disabilities.
Across from the stadium, the proposal calls for a $20 million, three-level multipurpose building that would house locker rooms, weight rooms, training spaces, and meeting spaces for sports such as baseball, softball, wrestling, soccer, golf, and track and field. The structure, at 43 feet high, would also house a new natatorium and administrative offices.
As for the current natatorium — which is smaller than the proposed replacement, by the way — the bond plan suggests its demolition and replacement with three levels of extra classroom space, totaling more than 20 rooms.
The multipurpose building would replace the existing Seay Tennis Center, which would move behind the parking garage on the east side of the school, across the driveway from the outdoor tennis courts, at a cost of about $4.7 million.
At Highland Park Middle School, the renovations would be less comprehensive, but would include expanding the boys locker room, relocating the girls locker room (to the south of the boys locker room) and the tennis courts, and replacing the storage shed.