Suburban school district cuts football, cheerleading and other programs

The sports program at one suburban high school will be a thing of the past.

Sports programs at Hinsdale Central and South are being cut. It comes after a referendum to upgrade the schools failed to pass a vote in November.

School officials say the situation is so dire they need to cut sports and nearly every club you can think of just to keep the school open.

"I'm not mad, pretty sad about it but I'm more disappointed,” said Tristan Lundgren.

Hinsdale senior and swimmer Tristan Lundgren has gone through the gamut of emotions after finding out his team along with football, cheer and pom squads would be cut by the district.

"It's really detrimental towards our program and towards our school's pride also, and our tradition of excellence at Hinsdale Central,” he said.

The board says that's the reality they're forced with after residents shot down a $166-million-dollar referendum to update the school and fix its crumbling infrastructure.

“It's heartbreaking,” said Bruce Law. "All co-curricular activities are important to students as they go through high school.”

Superintendent Bruce Law says cutting sports is not what anyone wants. The $166 million was to update the school and infrastructure, which hasn't been upgraded since the 1960's. Cutting sports just keeps the building from falling apart.

"The facilities themselves just can't compete with other school districts in terms of facilities. So we were trying to make facilities that were on a par with other school districts,” Law said. "What the board's trying to do is just fix the place.”

Law says to pay for the $166 million would increase property taxes by a few hundred dollars a year and has this question for those who said no to it.

"What is it that you want for your students? What is it you want for your schools? We're at a point where the cuts that the board has made will be in effect for five years. Or until a referendum passes,” Law said.

The board will put forth a lessor measure of $130 million on the April ballot, which would keep sports and make infrastructure changes but with a smaller pool.

Swimmer Donovan Lahmann says it's time to gear up for the next challenge.

"it's really easy to feel sorry for yourself, but I think the best thing to do at this point and time is accept the situation that we're in and get another referendum on the April ballot,” he said.

Also being cut is boys and girls water polo, wrestling and marching band, spring play, and even the yearbook committee.