McHenry District 156 breaks ground on 70,000-square-foot Center for Science, Technology, and Industry
McHenry High School District 156 school board members joined with more than 75 local McHenry officials, business leaders, teachers, students and staff Thursday to officially mark the start of construction for the planned 70,000-square-foot Center for Science, Technology and Industry building extension at McHenry High School - West Campus.
For District 156 officials, the groundbreaking event ushers in a new era for McHenry High School since the three-story addition offers state-of-the-art space for learning, and will eventually pave the way for a shift to make East Campus a Freshman Campus. This campus reorganization further establishes McHenry High School as one school community.
“Today we move forward toward a bright, transformative and sustainable future,” said Dr. Ryan McTague, District 156 superintendent. “We are grateful to the voters in our community who played a vital role in making our vision of an ideal future become reality,”
Last November, voters agreed to fund a $44 million bond referendum to implement the district’s building plan, Vision 156 Plan for the Future. The plan was a result of many community meetings to address aging buildings while creating an equitable and modern educational environment for all District 156 students.
The three-story building extension, which will be built on the northside of West Campus, includes a new main entrance, additional classrooms, a construction lab, a manufacturing lab, advanced graphics lab, broadcasting studio, an advanced environmental / STEM lab, a biomedical lab, INCubatoredu classroom and offices. It also includes a new advanced engineering, computer, and robotics laboratories.
Sue Meyer, former McHenry mayor who headed a committee to support the referendum, said she believes the variety of program offerings in the new extension was a great selling point for the community. Meyer said she’s excited to see the project come to fruition.
Emma Snyder, a junior, volunteered to be part of supporting the referendum and she’s glad future students can benefit from those changes. “I have little sisters so I’m excited for them.”
Start of construction on the West Campus extension follows a busy summer of Phase I improvements at both East Campus and West Campus. At East Campus, improvements included new interior and exterior LED lighting, a new geothermal HVAC system, new ceilings, and some new flooring. At West Campus, summer projects included a pool renovation, retention pond improvements, a new student parking lot and 10 new tennis courts.