Lions Park School

School District: 57

Grade levels: K-8

Built: First building 1956

Second building 1995

Is it still standing? First no, second yes

If not, when was it demolished? First building demolished in 1993 to make way for second

Is it still a school? Yes

History

The first Lions Park School was built in 1956 at the height of Mount Prospect’s explosive post war expansion. The population grew from around 4,000 to around 19,000 between 1950 and 1960, and most of these new residents were young families. This created a massive imbalance in the number of students and the school facilities. New schools were built at a dizzying rate, although this happened with some serious resistance, as the older established community watch their town be radically changed. One major issue that came about because of this massive development in such a short time was that all the children grew up at about the same time. With shifting demographic trends, many of the schools built in Mount Prospect in the 1950s were closed and demolished. Lions Park was one of the schools that survived the 1970s and 1980s, but as the demographic trends started to shift again with rising enrolments in the 1990s, many schools in Mount Prospect were found to be inadequate. Beginning in 1993, School District 57 began attempting to pass a referendum to build new facilities. After the referendum failed twice, it finally passed by a thin margin on the third attempt. Ironically, the people voting against the referendum were the same people who had moved to the community in the 1950s, insisted on the construction of many new schools, and faced opposition from the residents who had lived here longer. With the passage of the referendum, School District 57 had $13.5 million to modernize their facilities. The original Lions Park and Fairview Schools were raised, as the environmental issues in the buildings made it impossible to renovate and expand them. New Lions Park and Fairview Schools were built on top of the locations of the original schools and the new Lions Park School was opened in 1995.

In 1998 Lions Park School hosted a visit from then first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then senator Mosely Braun. The 5th graders at Lions Park School also participated in a 24 hour space shuttle simulation with students of Fairview school in 2001.

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