Lockport Central Campus 65492a6537f10

Classroom ceiling collapse focuses attention on facility needs at Lockport, Illinois, high school

Nov. 6, 2023
Freshmen who attend Lockport Township High School’s Central Campus will have online classes while the district assesses damage to the building.

Hours after a classroom ceiling collapsed at Lockport Township High School’s Central Campus in Lockport, Illinois, the district’s school board met to discuss holding a bond referendum to improve the condition of the 114-year-old building.

The Daily Southtown reports that the Lockport Township High School District 205 board will decide Nov. 20 whether to place an $80 million referendum on the March 2024 ballot.

Students at the Central Campus, which is the district’s freshmen center, were sent home last week after a math teacher discovered the ceiling in room 310 had collapsed. No students were in the classroom at the time.

The district says said freshmen will continue online learning this week while the building is inspected, and the damages assessed.

"At this time, we anticipate three more days of eLearning for freshman students to ensure that forensic architects can make a thorough assessment of the building," the district's website says. 

Lockport Superintendent Robert McBride said district officials will determine how to best continue education for freshmen. Options range from continuing online learning to moving freshmen to the district’s east campus.

Officials had scheduled the special meeting to discuss renovating the campus well before the ceiling collapse.

The building was constructed in 1909; room 310 was part of an addition built in 1928.

Over the last year and a half, McBride said district officials and community members have held discussions about some form of renovation to Central Campus. The ceiling collapse underscores the need to renovate the campus, he said.

During an Oct. 2 committee meeting, board members directed DLA Architects to propose a scaled back, phased renovation of the campus at a cost between $70 million and $85 million.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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