Hinsdale, Illinois School District Cuts Swimming, Water Polo, Football

In the wake of a failed budget referendum, Hinsdale Central and South high schools in the western suburubs of Chicago have officially cut not only their boys and girls swimming and water polo teams, they’ve also eliminated their football programs.

The moves are part of a nearly $3.7 million budget reduction, according to The Chicago Tribune. The district originally sought to cut at least $2.1 million from its budget for the 2019-2020 school year to fund about $46 million in facility improvements. But the school board wound up approving even more in cuts. “$2.1 million is too small a target for us,” said one board member in the Tribune piece.

The cuts come after local voters rejected a $166 million budget referendum in November.

The district did put a smaller, $130 million referendum on an April 2 ballot. While some board members said they expected the athletic programs to be reinstated if the referendum passes, one board member told the Tribune residents shouldn’t assume the cuts would be reversed even if the referendum passes. The April 2 referendum would provide new six-lane, 25-yard swimming pools at both Central and South high schools, but the Tribune story also notes that the $39 million proposed to build the pools in the last referendum was a reason some voted against the referendum, according to board members.

One board member also disagreed with building equal pools at both facilities, hoping for 8 lanes and 40 yards at Central because Central has about 1300 more students than its counterpart.

The Tribune report says the district already approved salary freezes and staff reductions, and includes some specific numbers on how much the district will save by cutting its athletic programs. The football program is the most expensive sport to operate at either high school, costing $129,705 for a 179-person team at Central and $145,817 for a 101-person team at South.

The total savings from all the athletic cuts – which include football, swimming, water polo, cheerleading and bass fishing – would be $789,000.

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2 years ago

wow one of the richest school districts in the chicagoland area..

Illinois Swim Dad
Reply to  Swimming4silver
2 years ago

Yes. A district with 2 High Schools(Central & South),that has a $110 million dollar budget, with $45 million in reserve, sees the need to cut sports and punish the students for the financial malfeasance of previous school boards.

According to their own website documentation, the total cost saving from both schools for the boys and girls swimming programs will be $157,318.

Reply to  Swimming4silver
2 years ago

Agreed. This town is far from fiscally strapped. This smells of politics.

2 years ago

in today’s big news, taxes pay for things people want!

2 years ago

Hinsdale swimming has a storied history. Therefore, the district will drop swimming. If the school was known for the arts, the district would drop the arts. This is a standard play to influence a yes vote for the next referendum. My community high school, north of Chicago, is in the process of replacing their 25 yard pool with a 50 meter pool and we have never been a power in swimming.

Reply to  TAK
2 years ago

Certainly hope TAK is right. If I read the article correctly, they’re cutting swimming and water polo to be able to pay for two new swimming pools. That makes sense. I’m sort of glad Don Watson isn’t alive to see this. Central was a dominant high school swimming program in1960’s through the 1980s and later

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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