New Trier: District 203 to weigh replacing outmoded, but histor...

Full story: Chicago Tribune

More than a century after New Trier High School opened its doors, the fate of the flagship campus is uncertain as school leaders weigh the cost of a future renovation, the charm of its terrazzo-tiled past and the financial tumult of the present.
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1 - 20 of 40 Comments Last updated Aug 10, 2009
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Justa Citizen

Highland Park, IL

#1 Apr 1, 2009
Get out your checkbooks, District 203 taxpayers!
sowhat

Northbrook, IL

#2 Apr 1, 2009
I guess we'll see this story each year about this time of year, every year.
Sharon

Carpentersville, IL

#3 Apr 1, 2009
The building is a dump - it's about time something is done!
Scott L

Chicago, IL

#4 Apr 1, 2009
The building is terrific. The school is terrific. Leave it alone
Cyclone

United States

#5 Apr 1, 2009
Where's that clown "reverend" Meeks and his sheep? Are they going to help pay for a new building, too?
Fairly Certain

Germany

#6 Apr 1, 2009
Sharon wrote:
The building is a dump - it's about time something is done!
Do it on your nickel, if you care so much, not everyone else's.
Context

AOL

#7 Apr 1, 2009
Looking at the aggregate results of the New Trier academics, one must seriously question both the alleged 'need' for major modernization and the fiscal viability of any such plans. Coincidentally, this year marks Cambridge University's 800th anniversary [that's right - 800 years]. Many of the colleges within the University have buildings still in use dating to the 15th and 16th centuries. Considering how many Nobel Prize winners in a vast array of fields have continued to flow from Cambridge, one can easily conclude that building do not an academic institution make. Indeed, while Cambridge has modernized many of its facilities, the point{s} to be made is that trends come and trends go, but, underlying management of academic true value is fundamentally irrelevant to bricks and mortar.
In these times - in particular, it's going to be very hard to justify non-essential expenditures that won't necessarily equate to academic advances. Desks - for goodness sake, can be retrofitted and/or replaced. A swing-up platform or support attached by four screws and a couple of hinges might possibly suffice to expand desk-surfaces to accommodate lap-tops. Surely there are viable means to accommodate needs. Prioritization of needs and realistic basis' as premise from which to advance must be the order of the day. Simply because some ergonomics aren't... necessarily being maximized doesn't mean such extreme measures [and very costly at that] as appear to be bringing brought forward are of any validity. When lap-tops are replaced by slim-sheet display-screens - of virtually no weight, and all that's needed will be an input mechanism/keyboard, what will the order of the day be then? Think outside of the box and be very loathe to spend taxpayer's monies on non-essentials.
If it works - don't fix it! If it doesn't work - which is always capable of debate, make certain that what might be changed is such as which will yield results that both address the true needs and are fiscally responsible. Remember '800' years and still ticking.

Since: Aug 07

Evanston

#8 Apr 1, 2009
(A) Even Winnetka has to see how foolish it it to attempt a massive capital expense at this time (B) what 'modern teaching methods?' how are they different from tradtional methods and what changes would they require? and (C) kids don't need laptops in class.
Seymore

United States

#9 Apr 1, 2009
Kids do need laptops in class. How else can they instant message each other and keep up with the latest on YouTube during the school day?
meh

Glen Ellyn, IL

#10 Apr 1, 2009
How nice that New Trier Township has the money to worry about rebuilding its perfectly fine and very attractive school building.
Sue

Davis, CA

#12 Apr 1, 2009
I just celebrated by 50th class reunion from NT - it was a gatheirng of over-achievers, all of whom gave NT credit for setting them on the path to success - no matter how it is measured - good fulfilling lives, not necessarily check book balances. Patch up the parts which need patching and retorfit others as needed - the education can't be beat! I agree with Context's comments!
Ted

Carpentersville, IL

#13 Apr 1, 2009
I see all you people who don't live here saying the New Trier community doesn't need to update its school. And I don't care how old Cambridge is, I bet they have modern science labs and contemporary technology. Our contry's venerable collegiate institutions keep some old buildings too - but look at their building plans for science, technology, classrooms, libraries, etc.
Seymore

United States

#14 Apr 1, 2009
I made a joke earlier but I can tell you this school is fantastic. I live in Wilmette and have graduated two boys in the last 6 years there. Yes it is old. Crumbling and even smelly in a few places. It does have a fantastic heritage. In many ways it is at the core of the great value of our homes and property values. If you do not realize that, you might be on a different planet. Our taxes are high now, but so our are property values. If you keep New Trier viable, you protect your property values and keep the community head and shoulders above many others.

No, I am not a snob, just an aging and wise old North Shore hippie.
Wilmette Parent

Chicago, IL

#15 Apr 1, 2009
Fairly Certain wrote:
<quoted text>
Do it on your nickel, if you care so much, not everyone else's.
Don't worry. Germany won't have to pay a thing.
Big Dogg

Chicago, IL

#16 Apr 1, 2009
Justa Citizen wrote:
Get out your checkbooks, District 203 taxpayers!
At least it's for our community. We already have our checkbooks out to help that dufus Stroger. But you know what, our taxes are still lower than yours in Lake County. Snicker.
LWHJR1

Chicago, IL

#17 Apr 1, 2009
Fairly Certain wrote:
<quoted text>
Do it on your nickel, if you care so much, not everyone else's.
Since it appears Sharon lives in Winnetka, it will be done on her dime, not yours, whether you agree with her opinion or not.
Maybe someone should complain about the new Westinghouse High School in Chicago costing over $100 MM after an initial estimate of $47 MM. Think about what the CPS could have done with that extra $53 MM. At least New Trier doesn't rely on other people's money for half of their school funding.
Real List

Aurora, IL

#18 Apr 1, 2009
The North Shore folks will want to keep NT running strong, new buildings or not. Otherwise, their kids will be shipped to GlenBrook North where the girls throw human feces at each other in yearly hazing rituals.

The good people of Winnetka will not stand for such shenanigans, unlike their Northbrook counterparts.
ABU

Carpentersville, IL

#19 Apr 1, 2009
For the record, I am writing this comment from the New Trier Library. Yes, the building is old, so what? It serves its purpose and tax-payers don't need an extra expense. Really the building is not that bad, and its kinda cool to eat lunch in the same cafeteria as Charlton Heston, Donald Rumsfeld, and Rahm Emmanuel!
Disgusted

Manteno, IL

#20 Apr 1, 2009
Many of you are missing the point, although I respect Context for his reasoned thinking. First of all, the board is asking the community for answers, not simply imposing them. Do you objectors have a problem with the board and administration even raising the questions? Little has been decided and nothing yet has been spent. Second it is a delicate balancing act. Some things will have to be done whether a new school is built or nor. How much, over the coming years, will the renovations cost? Sometimes it is not cost-effective to keep fixing the same old buildings. I don't see enough in the story to decide. Down in Kankakee County in the Bradley-Bourbonnais district, the community has spent years trying to decide whether or not to build a high school facility. The community decided that the cost was too high. Now the district will be adding to and retrofitting the old building. The cost will be almost half of what a new building would have cost, with more costs in the future as the community grows and more space is needed. To the persons talking about flip-up desks and no laptops needed- you are not seeing the future. No matter what kind of desks you get, the classrooms will not get bigger. Furthermore I anticipate the future of education being student workstations rather than students in neat rows facing an instructor. I applaud New Trier as it is apparent over the years they have attracted fine instructors and produced many outstanding leaders. When deciding, it must be remembered that schools have to think about more than just about what the taxpayers want. If they don't adapt to the demands of the modern business world, they won't keep the reputation they currently enjoy.
jethro

Chicago, IL

#21 Apr 1, 2009
nuke it!

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