Dr. Robert J. Nolting, District 230 superintendent, speaks at the June 2 ceremonial groundbreaking for a $15.5 million expansion project at Stagg High School, 8015 W. 111th St., with school board members, teachers and students behind him. (Photo by Dermot Connolly)

Dr. Robert J. Nolting, District 230 superintendent, speaks at the June 2 ceremonial groundbreaking for a $15.5 million expansion project at Stagg High School, 8015 W. 111th St., with school board members, teachers and students behind him. (Photo by Dermot Connolly)

Stagg breaks ground on $15M school expansion

Spread the love

By Dermot Connolly

Stagg High School administrators, teachers and students all lifted ceremonial shovels at a June 2 groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of a two-year $15.5 million expansion project that will add 11 new classrooms, four science labs and much more at the Palos Hills school.

The build-out at the District 230 school at 8015 W. 111th St. will also have a rooftop environmental learning space with a garden, as well as additional teacher workspace, office space and a conference room.

Phase 1, which began Saturday, will conclude in the spring of 2024 with the scope of work contained to the south courtyard, where the groundbreaking took place. Phase 2, based in the north courtyard, will follow in the summer of 2024 and conclude in the spring of 2025. District officials said the goal is to build the additions, which will be connected by an enclosed walkway, during the summers so interior work can be done during the winter and spring.

“It is an exciting moment for the students who will be here in the fall who will have a new addition to their school,” said Supt. Dr. Robert Nolting who credited the school board for approving and finding the funding for the project.

“They took on the challenge of a really substantial project that will benefit the Stagg community. It is something a little ‘outside the box’ that will address some of the challenges facing Stagg.”

“This expansion is modest in size but will help bring much-needed, long-overdue classroom and teacher workspace to Stagg. It will allow for greater programming flexibility and give students some breathing room as they navigate the hallways…with much improved hallway traffic patterns.”

According to district statistics, there are roughly 2,500 students at Stagg, the smallest of the three District 230 high schools. More students are at Stagg than Andrew in Tinley Park, which is larger, and enrollment is nearing that of the 2,800 at Sandburg in Orland Park.

“The board had the vision to look to the future of educational programming here, evaluate our needs and fund it,” said Stagg Principal Eric Olsen.

School Board President Melissa Gracias stressed that the project is being funded without added costs to residents.

“As we close out the books on this fiscal year, we will finish with a balanced budget for the 20th consecutive year,” she said. Gracias pointed out that the district’s “outstanding credit rating” has made it possible to secure financing that will be funded through debt service extension and leveraging grant funds.

“By issuing bonds we will be able to pay it back over a 10-year timeframe without increasing the tax rate or going to referendum,” she said.

“We are excited to have two Stagg Chargers as principal architects on this project,” said Olsen, referring to Stagg alumni Nikki Bridges and Brian Otte of Studio GC Architects, who will oversee the design of the project.

“They bleed orange and blue. Their talent and expertise are dwarfed only by the fact that they are alumni. Their pride will undoubtedly be reflected in the building’s function and design,” Olsen added.

“The expansion project will have an immediate impact on the health and vitality of the building, with improved space, feel and flow of the school. Schools are living, breathing organisms. Seeing students in the hallways is like watching blood pump through veins and feeding vital organs,” said the principal.

Representing students at the groundbreaking were Palos Hills residents Humberto Plascencia Jr., a 2023 Stagg graduate and former president of the International and Cultivation clubs, and Razan Hazim, who will be a senior in the fall. They and alumna Gianna Gracias, the board president’s daughter, also got to shovel a little dirt.

“Although I will not get to experience the new space myself, I still feel a connection to the project due to my involvement with voicing my opinions through our Principal/Superintendent Advisory,” said Plascencia, who is going on to DePaul University.

He said he pointed out the need to alleviate crowded hallways full of students changing classes when the district officials visited to survey the needs.

The graduate predicted that the one-of-kind rooftop greenhouse will benefit environmental science and astronomy classes, and the Stagg Cultivation Club.

“It’s really cool that we did have some say in what this project would be,” said Hazim, another member of the students who is happy she will be able to see some of the work done during her senior year at Stagg.

It is a great day for all of us,” said Susan Dalton, secretary of the school board.

Local News

Ray Hanania

The best pols are easy to attack

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Ray Hanania . I was first introduced to Mike Madigan in 1978 by then Mayor Michael A. Bilandic. The amayor told me, a cub reporter at the time, to keep an eye on him because he was a “rising star.” As it turns out, Madigan not only was a rising star,…

Rich Miller

Pritzker turns thumbs down on Johnson demand

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Rich Miller . An oft-repeated $1.1 billion demand from Chicago’s mayor would actually wind up costing state taxpayers $5.5 billion. And Gov. JB Pritzker is turning a big thumbs down. Chicago Public Schools made the huge mistake of putting a ton of temporary federal pandemic aid into its permanent spending base…

A statue from a monument lies on the ground at Resurrection Cemetery in Justice. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

EF1 tornado barrels through Justice and Bridgeview

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan An EF1 tornado, packing winds of 90 miles per hour, swept through Justice and Bridgeview Monday night. Village of Justice Public Works Director Joe Cekus said he knew trouble was on the way. “I was looking in the sky for rotation and I heard a train,” he said. “I quickly…

Two pickup trucks in the 7400 block of Roberts Road in Bridgeview were destroyed by fire. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview family loses two pickup trucks, but house is saved

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch A Bridgeview family in the 7400 block of Roberts Road knows first-hand the damage weather can do. When high winds hit around 9:30 p.m. Monday as a tornado blew through Justice, a cemetery and then into Bridgeview, two power lines were brought down near their bi-level house. One line fell…

Rihanna will open her first Savage X Fenty store in Illinois at Orland Square Mall on Friday. (Photo by Allie Baar)

Rihanna to open Savage X Fenty store in Orland Park on Friday

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Barbados superstar Rihanna will open her first Savage X Fenty store in Illinois on Friday morning in Orland Square Mall in Orland Park. The singer, actor and businesswoman will open the store at the mall’s lower level near the Coach store at 10 a.m. Savage X Fenty will host a…

The Village of Palos Park encouraged residents to unplug their devices for a day at part of Unplug Illinois on July 13. (Supplied photo)

Palos Park encourages residents to unplug

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White The Village of Palos Park encouraged residents to unplug their devices for a day at part of Unplug Illinois on Saturday, July 13. The day is a state-wide effort, started in 2014, to encourage everyone to “plug into” the amazing recreational opportunities offered by local park and recreation agencies. The…

Portillo's Hot Dogs (PRNewsFoto/Portillo's Hot Dogs)

Comings & Goings: Portillo’s coming to Orland Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva After the Orland Park Village Board voted Monday night to allow for a special use program, it set the wheels in motion for a Portillo’s Hot Dogs drive through to be built at 20 Orland Square Drive, the site of the shuttered Denny’s. It will be a 3,305-foot square building…

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau said that pre-concert problems caused by the weather on July 13 are fixable.
(Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Mayor says Centennial Park West concert snafus ‘easily solvable’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva The weather gods hit Orland Park’s Pat Benatar concert with their worst shot. A major storm took place July 13 when the event at the refurbished Centennial Park West was scheduled to open the gates. That caused a delay in opening the gates for 40 minutes which resulted in massive…

reporter worth welcome sign

Worth approves $590,000 for street repairs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle A variety of projects ranging from street repairs and a new pump station for the golf course have been approved for the Village of Worth. A bid was awarded to Lindahl Brothers during the Worth Village Board meeting Tuesday night. Lindahl was the lowest bidder among four entries at $590,384.90 for future…

Funeral2

Obituaries July 18, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the lovePATRICIA MAE BRZOZOWSKI Patricia Mae Brzozowski, passed away suddenly at the age of 75. Loving sister of Paul (late Sarah), Felix (Angela) and the late Donald (late Virginia) Brzozowski; dear aunt of Michelle, Libby, Tracy, Karen, Don, Eddie and Michael. Visitation was held July 10 at the Richard-Midway Funeral Home, 5749 Archer Ave.…

Neighbors

A look inside the RNC: Photos from Milwaukee

A look inside the RNC: Photos from Milwaukee

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – The Republican National Convention officially wrapped up Thursday night with Donald Trump accepting the GOP nomination for president in 2024.  Throughout the week, Capitol News Illinois’ Andrew Adams was photographing the action, catching moments from the Illinois delegation and other attendees as well as key speeches. …

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

At national convention, Illinois’ beleaguered GOP portrays calm amid internal storm

By PETER HANCOCK & HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – Illinois Republicans appeared upbeat and optimistic as the GOP’s national convention got underway Monday, calling for unity and showing little sign of the internal party struggles that have been brewing for years. “Everybody’s got a lot of energy. We’re all really hopeful and…

State’s largest privately owned water utilities seek rate increase amid lawmaker scrutiny

State’s largest privately owned water utilities seek rate increase amid lawmaker scrutiny

By ANDREW ADAMS  Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com The two largest privately owned water utilities in Illinois are seeking to raise rates for a combined 1.5 million customers around the state.  Illinois American Water, which serves 1.3 million people, is seeking a $152.4 million rate increase. That corresponds to a $24 per month increase in water…

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – In the parlance of Washington D.C. Republican strategists, deep-blue Illinois is sometimes referred to as an “orphan” state – along with other Democratic strongholds like California, New York and Hawaii. In both 2016 and 2020, Donald Trump lost Illinois in the presidential election by 17 percentage…

After years of controversy, state pauses CO2 pipeline construction, for now

After years of controversy, state pauses CO2 pipeline construction, for now

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com New safety requirements for carbon dioxide pipelines as well as a temporary ban on their construction are now in effect after Gov. JB Pritzker on Thursday signed a bill that passed the General Assembly earlier this year. The law issues new regulations for carbon capture and sequestration, a…

State GOP leaders pass the torch as national convention wraps up

State GOP leaders pass the torch as national convention wraps up

By PETER HANCOCK, HANNAH MEISEL & JERRY NOWICKI news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – Illinois Republicans marked a changing of the guard Thursday morning as delegates met for breakfast ahead of the final day of the GOP national convention. State party Chair Don Tracy officially steps down this week after nearly 3 ½ years in that post, handing…

RNC Day 4 live updates from Capitol News Illinois, part 1

RNC Day 4 live updates from Capitol News Illinois, part 1

By PETER HANCOCK, HANNAH MEISEL ANDREW ADAMS & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – The CNI news team is on the scene for day four of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, of Peoria, and Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno were the speakers at today’s Illinois delegation breakfast. Donald…

Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy charged with first-degree murder

Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy charged with first-degree murder

BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com A Springfield woman’s call for help ended with her death and the indictment of a Sangamon County Sheriff’s deputy on first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and official misconduct. Sonya Massey called police to investigate a prowler at her home in the 2800 block of Hoover Avenue near…

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

On party infighting, Illinois’ new GOP chair says ‘start calling those people out’

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com MILWAUKEE – In the parlance of Washington D.C. Republican strategists, deep-blue Illinois is sometimes referred to as an “orphan” state – along with other Democratic strongholds like California, New York and Hawaii. In both 2016 and 2020, Donald Trump lost Illinois in the presidential election by 17 percentage…

Amid heavy rainfall in southern Illinois, Nashville dam system breached; hundreds evacuated

Amid heavy rainfall in southern Illinois, Nashville dam system breached; hundreds evacuated

MOLLY PARKER & BETH HUNDSDORFER Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Two days of heavy rainfall caused water to overflow and breach the dams of Nashville’s city reservoir on Tuesday, resulting in extensive flooding and the evacuation of about 200 people from their homes in the small southern Illinois town of about 3,000 residents. Initially described as…