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2047

With $500K donation, Bartlett High School set to begin work on athletic complex

BHS athletic complex

A rendering of the proposed Bartlett High School Activity Complex, which received a combined $500,000 donation from two Bartlett businesses.

(Handout)

After 20 years since it first opened, Bartlett High School is on its way to having a full-size athletic complex.

On Monday, the Bartlett High School Booster Club received a $500,000 donation for the long-gestating project, according to officials. The money will go toward a first phase of construction that could begin later this summer.

Since Bartlett’s opening in 1997, Streamwood High School — about 8 miles north along Illinois Route 59 — has been host for practically all of Bartlett’s home football games, along with other events such as track and field.

The donation, a joint move by Bartlett-based Greco Foods and Cheese Merchants of America, is the largest in what has been a resurgent year for the project. Each business donated $250,000 each, said George Kantzavelos, a former booster club president who is now chairman of the Bartlett High School Activities Complex project.

Kantzavelos said $125,000 was donated late last year, and another $100,000 earlier this year. The project has raised $950,000.

"Once we showed (Greco Foods and Cheese Merchants) our progress, they committed," he said. Project leaders first discussed the proposal with them earlier this year.

"We were excited six months ago" about the potential six-figure donations, said Kantzavelos, "but ecstatic with the news and commitment Monday."

The anticipation is they will have the $1.1 million to commence phase one, said Kantzavelos. The first phase consists of building 1,500-seat bleachers, a press box, lighting, fencing, a retention pond, electrical work and Wi-Fi expansion out to the field, which is just across the high school’s main parking lot.

School District U46 spokeswoman Mary Fergus said the booster club was in the process of getting construction permits from the Village of Bartlett in hopes to commence work later this summer. The first phase would be completed by the 2018-19 school year.

Kantzavelos said phases two and three of the project would be installing visitor bleachers, concession stands, locker rooms and the entrance. But first comes the bare essentials, which he said are a long time coming.

"This project is supported by Bartlett, the full support of village hall, business owners and U46 as well," he said. "Everybody is behind it, everybody wants it."

On the booster club’s website, bhsboosters.org, donors can purchase a Founders Brick for $250 that would go in the stadium.

Some improvements have already been made at the stadium, such as the installation of a new scoreboard, new goal posts, and a new field.