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The following are updates to stories previously published in The Observer:

Fresher and healthier student food on way to Barrington District 220

Barrington Area Unit District 220 students are expected to see better meals as a result of new food service companies hired for the 2019-20 academic season.

District officials said the goal was to move away from prepared food in favor of fresher, healthier and higher quality offerings for students.

Under Quest Food Management Services Inc., Barrington High School will get a coffee bar and a menu possibly including beef and chicken roasted on the premises, bubble tea and a sushi station. This food program was seen by District 220 officials who visited Quest clients New Trier High School in Winnetka and Glenbrook South High School in Glenview.

Read more here.

Barrington High stadium to get new artificial surface

After about 11 years of use, Barrington High School’s stadium will receive a replacement artificial surface in time for the next academic year.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Tuesday night voted 5-0 in favor of a deal with FieldTurf USA Inc. to install the new surface for a price not to exceed $700,000, with the tab being paid from the capital projects fund. Officials have said the projected cost is about $100,000 less than originally projected.

“We’re really at the end of the useful life of the turf and replacing the turf will ensure the future safety and playability in our stadium,” said David Bein, assistant superintendent of business services.

FieldTurf was installed as part of the new Barrington Community Stadium unveiled in August 2008, but officials said it is nearing the end of its life. Similar to that used by many other suburban schools, the playing surface includes sand and rubber particles between plastic fibers in an effort to provide players better footing and shock absorption.

Read more here.

Citizens for Conservation, one of the oldest and most successful volunteer conservation groups in Illinois, recently announced that it has acquired two parcels of land that are significant additions toward achieving the group’s 25-year strategic goal of linked ecosystems in the Barrington area.

One parcel was acquired from Arthur Rice III and Lynn Rice and is across Hart Road to the west of Citizens for Conservation’s Craftsbury Preserve, which is currently being restored. Citizens for Conservation plans to consolidate the preserve with the new, 31-acre parcel, creating a single preserve The new preserve will be 53 acres and will be Citizens for Conservation’s second-largest preserve after Flint Creek Savanna.

The other parcel of nearly five acres on West Oak Knoll Road in Barrington Hills was donated to Citizens for Conservation by the Joan Y. Mullins Trust. The land is near Citizens for Conservation’s Grigsby Prairie Preserve and is adjacent to the open space of Barrington Hills Country Club.

Citizens for Conservation will be developing land management plans for the property in the future.

The acquisitions are important to Citizens for Conservation for a number of reasons, said Kevin Scheiwiller, Citizens for Conservation’s restoration manager.

“The new Craftsbury tract of land offers rolling topography and wetland depressions left over as the last glaciers receded from this area,” he said.

Read more here.

 

The Cuba Township Highway Department will be hosting a no charge electronics recycling and document shredding event tomorrow, April 13, between the hours of 8:00 AM and noon.

The drop off location is 28070 West Cuba Road. For more information, call 847.381.7793.

Barrington High School’s stadium could receive a new artificial turf surface before the 2019-20 school year at a price lower than initially projected.

The high school’s current turf, installed in 2008, is nearing the end of its life, according to Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials.

The District 220 board next week is expected to vote on a proposal to install a new surface from FieldTurf USA Inc., which handled the original 11 years ago.

Board member Joseph Ruffolo, a member of the advisory facilities committee, said officials have been prepared to spend nearly $800,000 for the replacement surface. But now, with a likely credit from FieldTurf for reusing current material, the bill isn’t projected to exceed $700,000.

“We got a better deal than we thought we were going to get,” Ruffolo said during a facilities committee session this week (Editorial note: Isn’t it amazing how things work?).

Read more here.

Over the years, we’ve seen the worst of townships, as when the separately elected township supervisors or assessors or road commissioners or clerks or boards do battle, duplicating costs and getting less work done for the public.

Recall, for example, the assessor in Antioch Township in Lake County moving her staff out of the township building and renting new offices after fighting with the supervisor. Or Algonquin Township in McHenry County almost running out of road salt after highway commissioner Andrew Gasser ordered a supply and the township board refused to pay for it.

We’ve also seen the best of townships, as when well-run food pantries or senior transit or general assistance programs provide safety nets for suburban residents who’ve run out of options.

With that in mind, we’re not fully in the growing “throw them out” camp that seeks to abolish townships as rural throwbacks not needed in the suburbs.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

More variety and healthier choices for students are expected from food service operators starting in the next academic year in Barrington Area Unit District 220.

At Barrington High School, a new food provider recommended by top District 220 administrators could mean a coffee bar and menu options possibly including beef roasted on the premises, sushi and bubble tea in 2019-20.

District 220’s assistant superintendent of business services, David Bein, said getting away from prepared food in favor of higher quality and fresh offerings for school lunches will allow students to have “the right kind of fuel for learning.”

“There is research that connects students who are not hungry and who are well fed to higher academic achievement, better student growth,” Bein said at a District 220 board session this week.

Read more here.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris says school board members will decide how to proceed after voters rejected a request to borrow $185 million for building projects.

Unofficial totals from Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry counties show voters downed the ballot measure by 4,077 votes to 3,909 on Tuesday. Cook County voters themselves barely supported the measure, with 1,696 in favor and 1,691 against the request that would have added about $100 to the annual property tax bill for an owner of a $500,000 median value home.

Harris said Wednesday the proposed upgrades for the schools are significant and costly enough that the district will need voter approval to finance them, but the soonest a ballot request can return is March 2020.

Rooted in a community process called Blueprint 220, which began in 2017, the plan called for all 12 of the district’s schools to receive basic building improvements and upgraded security. Bathroom repairs, new roofs and improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems were among the proposed projects.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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