Construction is in full gear on the new sports complex at Riverside-Brookfield High School.
The brick skeleton of the new locker room building is up and the old turf field has been ripped out. However the first two home football games next fall have already been moved because the complex is not expected to be ready until late September or early October. District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis said he is hopeful the field will be ready by the time the third and fourth home games of the season are scheduled to be played.
“The large amount of rain we had in the month of June has set us back a few days, but we’re still optimistic that we’re on schedule,” Skinkis said. “We’re hoping to still be completed and have our first home game on Sept. 25 or Oct. 2.”
The scheduled football home opener, a Sept. 4 game against Wauconda, will be played at Wauconda instead of at RB and the Sept. 12 home game against Elgin St. Edward has already been moved to Lyons Township High School.
Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 2, a home game against Immaculate Conception.
Seven home boys’ soccer games that are scheduled in August and September are also likely to be played elsewhere. A few home games have already been switched to away games.
“We’re going to have a bunch of changes in soccer due to the facility,” said John Treiber, interim athletic director at RB.
The soccer team will be practicing at Jaycee/Ehlert Park in Brookfield while the stadium is still under construction.
“I’m not quite sure we want the varsity playing there,” Treiber said. “We’re going to check our facilities, but obviously we’re going to look at other schools in our area to see if we can use their stadiums.”
The girls tennis team will also likely be playing at a new location this fall. The existing tennis courts, already in bad shape, are being used as a staging area for construction equipment and supplies this summer.
The RB summer tennis camp was held at Jaycee/Ehlert Park. The tennis team could possibly practice in the fall at Ehlert Park and perhaps at Indian Gardens Park in Riverside, but school officials are negotiating to find another place for the tennis team to play matches and possibly practice.
“We’re hoping to land another [location] where we’ll be able to play some contests,” Treiber said.
For a time last year, RB officials had an agreement with the village of North Riverside to play tennis matches and hold practices at the Village Commons Park. But then RB officials, in response to protests from tennis parents and players, changed course and instead wanted to build new tennis courts just north of Hollywood School so that the area where the existing tennis courts are located could be used for a new parking lot. But that plan was put on hold when the Brookfield Village Board voted 5-1 not to grant the variances needed for a new parking lot, a decision that District 208 has challenged in court.
The artificial turf field is not scheduled to be installed until sometime in August, Skinkis said. Work has begun on installing the storm water retention system underneath the field.