Friday night lights may go out as suburban school district cuts sports

HINSDALE, Ill. — The Friday night lights may be going out in Hinsdale, as officials say much-needed spending on crumbling schools will put sports on the chopping block.

“We’re just hopeful that this is a wakeup call to the community," Hinsdale Central parent Kari Glassi said.

Many residents moved to the western suburb for the schools, but say the facilities at schools like Hinsdale Central andHinsdale South are in terrible disrepair, using words like "decrepit."

“I am shocked by the condition of the schools," Hinsdale Central parent Julie Akers said.

Parents say the situation is dire and District 86 is in a financial crisis. Hinsdale Central has the original boiler from the 50s,  the roof needs repair and the pool may actually be a health risk.

"The first week that we were in the water there were three kids that came down with a cough," said Todd Lundgren, a co-captain on the school's swim team. "One kid even had to get checked for bronchitis.”

In a district where taxes are high, some wonder why the schools aren't amazing. It's a bit of a perfect storm for the school board after a fundraising referendum was rejected by voters in November. Now all that’s left are cuts to football, swimming, marching bands. Hinsdale South is also in need of repairs and upgrades.

“We’re gonna lose teachers... we’re losing important programs that are the core of our schools," Hinsdale Central parent Lisa Lundgren said.

A whole crowd of parents and students showed up at Akers' house Tuesday night to talk about issues facing the district. It was a referendum that got them into the dilemma, and parents hope another one can get them out. If enough voters get on board with a $130 million ballot measure on April 2, at least some of the programs can be saved.

"People think it’s a scare tactic," Akers said. "But there’s really no option, they’re out of funds.”

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.