District 58 celebrates facility renovation projects  with groundbreaking ceremonies

6 board members with gold shovels; heavy moving equipment in background

District 58 Board members, along with school and community members, participated in groundbreaking ceremonies at Herrick and O’Neill Middle Schools on Monday, April 22. They were joined by PTA Council representatives, student council leaders, construction managers, as well as parents and staff. They celebrated the future renovations and thanked community members who supported the referendum that made the work possible.

“We’ve been working together as a school community for years to get to this important day, where we are breaking ground on our new middle school buildings,” said Superintendent Dr. Russell.

Board President Darren Hughes noted that the ceremonies marked an important milestone. “This groundbreaking is just the beginning of a much larger project that will update all 13 schools in the district,” he said. “The board would like to thank the community for entrusting us with the first district-wide capital project since we built the majority of our schools during the post-World War II baby boom.”

Joining them were Principals Dr. David Norman from Herrick and Lauryn Humphris from O’Neill, who each noted the benefits of the projects to their school communities. “With this construction, we will be able to continue to build upon the foundation to help support the dreams of future generations – with 21st-century science and food labs, updated classrooms, a remodeled library and cafeteria, a new competition-sized athletic facility, and common spaces for collaboration.”

“Students in District 58 will benefit from this project for the next few decades,” said Dr. Norman. “With new facilities come new possibilities and opportunities for our students.”

The new middle schools are important components of the District’s $179 million referendum that was approved by voters in November 2022. Improvements to the 11 elementary schools will include creating more secure entrances, adding air conditioning (two already have it) and HVAC improvements and upgrading aging infrastructure.
Students also spoke during the ceremony and summed up the magnitude of the impact. “So, as we grab our shovels and dig deeper, let’s not forget that not only are we breaking ground, we are also breaking our past limitations. The possibilities for future students and teachers are endless!” said Herrick Student Council President Andre Cheng. 

“Having a learning environment catered to our needs as students can only help us grow on the path to fulfilling full futures,” echoed Lydia Larsen, O’Neill student council president.

Also speaking were PTA representatives Jackie Hacke, O’Neill PTA Secretary; Kelly Matusiak, Herrick PTA President; Brad Paulsen, Senior Vice-President from the District’s engineering firm Wight & Company; and Peter Kuhn, vice-president with the construction management firm Bulley & Andrews.  

Updates on the projects can be found on the District 58 website at https://www.dg58.org/building-for-success/index, including dashboards of progress at Herrick and O’Neill, with photos, webcams and drone videos.

Photo Galleries of the ceremonies: 
O'Neill Middle School
Herrick Middle School