Breaking new ground

Following last fall’s referendum, MCHS has already improved both campuses and has begun construction on West’s new wing


Amy Maciaszek

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Carl Vallianatos addresses stakeholders during a groundbreaking ceremony on September 19 outside of West Campus.

Kyla Henige, News Editor

A construction crew officially broke ground for the new science and technology wing at West Campus on September 19. In attendance was the District Superintendent Ryan McTague, Board of Education members, teachers, students, and construction workers. 

Every day over the summer, McTague said during his address, he looked out his window and watch as the 26 year old “temporary” mobiles were torn down in preparation for the new wing.

“Those mobiles to me represented the fact that we needed to change,” said McTague.  “When I saw the debris cleared and just plain dirt, I realized this symbolizes us not accepting the status quo in this district ever again, and we are moving on to a better and brighter future.”

The new addition will feature more than just a few classrooms. According to the District 156 website, the wing will be three stories tall, on the northside of the building. It will consist of  several kinds of classrooms, including as construction labs, manufacturing labs, advanced graphics labs, a broadcasting studio, and three different science departments followed by an engineering program.

The the new wing and repairs to both high school campuses will benefit the McHenry community as well, McTague said, and will provide the students with extra resources such as the building, tennis courts, and equipment they need, McHenry can become a bigger more successful school. “Fixing these buildings and moving on, looking into the future shows that we are warriors and we are rising, and we are not going to stop,” McTague said. “I firmly believe that we are going to become one of the most competitive, and comprehensive districts in the area and the state, hands down.”

As the ceremony went on, McTague talked about the steps we as a whole community are going to take to improve the schools, and the steps the construction crews will take to make this addition fast and successful. 

“We can’t stop here, we must continue to modernize our curriculum, increase equity and access to all students. This wing is just the beginning. The beginning to a new, and amazing future . . . And at the end of the day, we are one school. One community. One family. We are McHenry.”

And with those last few words, McTague and his team officially broke ground for the new wing at McHenry High school.