Hinsdale District 86 High Schools Vote to Potentially Eliminate Swimming, Football, Marching Bands in 2019 School Year

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

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The Chicago Tribune has reported that the Hinsdale District 86 Board in Illinois could potentially eliminate the girls and boys swim and water polo teams at both Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South High Schools in an effort to reduce expenditures to provide funds to pay for upgrading security measures. The future of the teams as well as the football team and marching band will be voted on in a referendum on April 2.

The board said the painful decisions were necessary so the school district could afford pressing infrastructure improvements.

“Capital expenditures were pushed out for far too long,” board member Kevin Camden told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s time the board had to make difficult decisions. The reality is our time is up.”

The board voted to put a $130 million referendum on the April 2 ballot. The goal is to make all areas of the schools handicap accessible, replace boilers and ventilation systems and renovate technology classrooms.

Camden said residents should not assume all the reductions would be reversed if the referendum passes, but other board members said they expect the athletic programs and other activities would be reinstated, so there is a potential that this will not be a permanent cut.

The board voted to eliminate the football programs from both schools since that is the most expensive sport to operate.

District officials also were concerned about abiding by Title IX rules which dictate students of both genders have equal opportunities. The football and wrestling teams are all boys, so eliminating those teams do not reduce sports opportunities for girls.

Poms and the bass fishing team also were eliminated.

Neither vote on the program cuts, nor the April 2 referendum was unanimous.

The board sought to make a minimum of $2.1 million in cuts to the 2019/2020 school budget as part of a plan to fund $46 million in facility improvements over about a six-year period. The board ended up approving nearly $3.7 million worth of changes in estimation of unforeseen circumstances, as one of the board members was quoted as saying “$2.1 million is too small a target for us.”

To read the full report from the Chicago Tribune, click here.


  1. John Dussliere

    I called and left a message.
    (630) 655-6100

  2. Diane Pavelin

    Wow! Hinsdale Central was a powerhouse in swimming for many years, with many State champs and All-Americans. It’s hard to believe that community would allow those teams to be cut.

  3. Paula Maas

    Swimming has been a godsend for my kids. They have been surrounded by positive role models, hard workers both athletically and academically. The opportunity has been priceless. Ask the community or wealthy donors in the area to contribute money to a fund to continue these sports. The impact will be felt for generations to come.

  4. avatar
    Paula Maas

    Swimming has been a godsend for my kids. They have been surrounded by positive role models, hard workers both athletically and academically. The opportunity has been priceless. Ask the community or wealthy donors in the area to contribute money to a fund to continue these sports. The impact will be felt for generations to come.

  5. Dayen Wilson

    Mia Paloma this your place ?

  6. Barbara Kula Gehrs

    Such a powerhouse! Pathetic move district 86!!! Disgraceful

  7. Betsy Harrison

    You are going to hate this statement… BUT… the NRA should be paying for the safety upgrades since they refuse to help ban the AR 15

    • avatar
      Frank Gallagher

      You are an idiot

  8. Katy Bateman Brown

    What????? What a disgrace. this would be such a shame if this really happened

    • Dave Kinsella

      Katy Bateman Brown yeah, a big referendum failed so they’re looking to cut costs wherever they can. It would be a great loss for the Hinsdale community, and really the swimming community as a whole. Let’s hope it gets sorted out before the axe falls

    • Katy Bateman Brown

      Dave Kinsella I Hope so too!! What a shame that would be

  9. Inga Narbutis

    So sad, that’s my district… my kids loosing swimming for their senior year, there will be no swimming, water polo, football and more in our school next year…I still can’t believe that this is happening… no homecoming…. community voted “NO” for school referendum… ??

  10. Neringa Veronika

    Who the hell lives in your community, retired old people, who never had kids, or just greedy bunch of loosers??

  11. Tanya Irving Mccormick

    How unfortunate for the swimmers!
    Remember John Kinsella…1972 Olympian

  12. Marc Lunning

    That would be the worst decision that district will ever make.

  13. Rob Emary

    Obvious political move to try to get their referendum passed. Hate that their using kids sports as a tool

    • avatar
      Lisa Lundgren

      With all due respect, as the parent of a devastated current D86 swimmer, seventh grade swimmer and Hinsdale Central alum and parent who sits thru every Board of Education meeting, this is not a political ploy.

  14. Charlene Tallen

    Penny wise and pound foolish. We will regret not investing in our children. School should not be prisons.

  15. avatar

    These are complete scare tactics by a board that ought to be ashamed of themselves. The 2 schools needed a combined $30 million to make necessary upgrades, but instead of asking for the necessary amount, all the board members decided to add all of their special interests and increased the referendum ask to $166 million and with interest over $200 million. Now they have the audacity to stress kids out before finals by telling them they need to have their parents vote for referendum or else their sports, AP classes and homecoming dance will be cancelled. They should all be fired!

  16. avatar
    Lisa Lundgren

    “Frank” – The Board of Ed is a non-paid volunteer job. As someone who has volunteered on the D86 Master Facilities Plan, has been involved with two Community Task Forces, and the Pool Task Force, the numbers are not inflated and unnecessary. Happy to discuss with you offline anytime, share the real facts and figures and documents, in more detail so as not to take up anyone else’s space.

  17. Jennifer Iris

    Nicole Kacor Pasquinelli did this make your “housewives” page? Sad….

    • Nicole Kacor Pasquinelli

      Jennifer Iris yes, it’s a big mess. I guess they need a new pool and it’s costing 40 million for two pools at two campuses and they put the referendum on the ballot for 180 million and it didn’t pass. Now, they cut the sports and are now putting it back on the spring ballot for 150 million hoping it will pass.

      • avatar
        Nerida Thomas

        $166 m failed in November
        $130 m for April

  18. Jim Densmore

    So many school systems have lost track of the fundamental that education is about so much more than books, classes and tests. From the comments I see that this may be political as well. Very sad if politics is leveraging children’s welfare too.