Renderings for the new addition of Forest Trail School in Park Forest were on display at Monday's groundbreaking ceremony. | Evan F. Moore/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 19, 2014 2:09AM
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new addition to Forest Trail Middle School in Park Forest took place Monday morning.
The makeover will include six new classrooms, a gym, fitness center and a multipurpose room that the community can use as well.
Park Forest Chicago Heights School District 163 Board President Walter Mosby said the groundbreaking is a step toward bringing the facility up to par with others in the district.
“Today is a glorious occasion. We have an opportunity to add on to our school building,” Mosby said. “This gives our students a school they can proud of — a school that’s cutting-edge and 21st century ready.”
Mosby added that the facilities needed an upgrade.
“There are hollow spots in the floor when the kids are playing basketball,” Mosby said. “The locker rooms were outdated. Building this new section to the building, we’ll be able to put our STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) lab.”
The event was attended by community members and public officials, including state Sen. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights; U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, D-2nd; and Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg.
District 163 Supt. Joyce Carmine presided over the festivities.
Kelly addressed the gathering, speaking to the importance of education in her Southland district.
“Schools are the backbone and foundation of any community,” Kelly said. “When you have great schools and good things to offer, that effect moves into your community and who stays in your community.”
She gave a special message to the teachers and school board members who were in attendance.
“I really believe teaching is the noblest profession,” Kelly said. “I know you guys don’t get enough credit ... for all that you do.”
Members of the Forest Trail’s state championship basketball team also were on hand.
The addition to the school, at 215 Wilson St., is expected to be ready by the 2015-16 school year.