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Bartlett High rallies community around stadium project

Artist's rendering Bartlett High School activities complex.

Artist's rendering of the Bartlett High School activities complex.

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Updated: March 20, 2013 6:26AM

BARTLETT — The video follows students through the hallways of Bartlett High School, past the wrestling team (handily defeating the school mascot) and marching band, through pom-pons and glitter.

The math club waves calculators, tennis team members, their rackets. They lip-dub “I’m Coming Home” by Diddy, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Let’s Get It Started” by The Black Eyed Peas and “Help” by the Beatles.

And they end near the track outside the school holding signs: “Future activities complex.”

All those students — representing more than 30 teams and organizations at the school — will benefit from the new activities complex the Bartlett Activity Complex Committee plans to build at the school, according to Elgin School District U46.

And the video posted on the school website last week actively kicked off its fundraising campaign for that complex, “Bartlett High School Needs A Home (Field).”

“We would like to be able to host Club Lacrosse, Relay for Life, March of Dimes events, and various camps including football, soccer, track and field, and cheer,” Bartlett Principal Suzanne Colombe said in a written statement from the school district.

“However, as we share the facility, the scheduling is very difficult.”

Bartlett sports teams now compete at Millennium Field at Streamwood High School, an athletic complex they’ve shared since Bartlett opened in 1997. And the new complex won’t just support those teams, but also area park district programs, youth leagues and community events, according to U46.

It will include a new synthetic turf field, a running track, home bleachers for 2,500 and visitor bleachers for 1,000, a scoreboard, lighting and a concession stand, the district said.

Fundraising for an activities complex is something the Bartlett General Booster Club had been considering for a while, Colombe told The Courier-News in December 2011 after the Boosters presented their plan to the U46 Board of Education. The school even has tried twice before to build its own stadium — once in 2004 and once in 2006, it has said.

The Bartlett Activity Complex Committee was formed in 2008 by Boosters, parents of future Bartlett students and community members, U46 said. That committee first conducted a field feasibility study on school property with DLA Architects to make sure it could support an activities complex.

Now it’s raising community support and funds from private donors and corporate sponsors for that project. So far, $40,000 has been donated by graduating classes and smaller community fundraisers, according to the school district.

And, Colombe said, “The longer it takes to raise the funds, the more money it will take. If we were able to raise $4.5 million this year, we could come close to building the entire project.”

If not, the project will be built in phases that could cost up to $7.2 million and take until 2018 to complete, according to U46. About $1 million is needed to start construction on the first phase of the project, it said.

The committee also is submitting grant applications to federal incentive programs that support athletic and school programs, the statement said.

The project follows a similar, successful fundraising effort by South Elgin High School, which broke ground on its own stadium in 2011.

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