Updated May 17, 2018, 4:29 p.m.
UPDATE: ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - Two and a half years after the collapse of the Hononegah dome, the high school is now celebrating the final steel beam put into place in a new, more permanent sports facility, the Hononegah Field House.
The need for a new field house came after a December 2015 ice storm caused the dome, which was a temporary space, to collapse. After putting a referendum on the ballot twice, voters finally approved the tax hike to begin the construction on the project.
The field house will include a track, two long jump sand pits, multi-purpose courts as well as batting and golf cages. It will also offer more space for gym classes, sports tournaments and practices.
"It's always hard to ask people to raise their own taxes. It's incredibly difficult. It's a tough thing to do and you understand why some people can't support things like that. We're very fortunate that the community, I think, has always valued the educational programs that Hononegah's put together," said Hononegah High School Board President David Kurlinkus.
Kurlinkus says the space will also benefit the community. It will be open for them to walk the track in the field house before school starts each day. The field house is expected to be complete next fall.
Updated March 12, 7:31 p.m.
UPDATE: ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - Hononegah High School says work is moving along on its multi-million dollar field house.
The school says work was completed earlier this year on the field house foundation. Crews expect to finish the addition's underground plumbing by the end of March.
Construction on the $17.8 million project is expected to be complete by the fall of 2019.
Posted November 7, 2018, 5:30 p.m.
ROCKTON, Ill. (WIFR) - "By the time the field house is finished we will have been without indoor space for three and a half years," said HCHS Superintendent Lynn Gibson.
It's been a long time coming since the dome at Hononegah High School collapsed in December of 2015. Now after three referendums, Hononegah Community High School breaks ground on a replacement, a new 80,000 square foot field house.
"People move here because of the schools that are here and we want to make sure that we are maintaining and continuously improving our school efforts here," said Gibson.
The new facility offers more space for students who say things right now are tight.
"They're very excited about having additional space," said Gibson.
"We're a family here and I think everybody can tell we are like a family here and like doctor Gibson said we're smooshed and when you get smooshed you can go a little stir crazy," said HCHS student board president Brett Jones.
The addition includes a 200-meter track, two long jump sand pits and four multi-purpose courts. The field house will also feature batting and golf cages as well as seating for 3,300 fans.
"This is something that the community will really be able to be proud of," said HCHS board president Dave Kurlinkus.
Construction will begin early next week and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2019.
The construction will bring 65 full-time jobs to the area. The district is using a $17.8 million bond to pay for the project.
The average homeowner in the district will pay $54 per $100,000 home.