District to finance $35 million for exhaust system upgrade


Alex Burstein

The Lane LSC’s Parent Representatives listen as the November resolutions are read.

By Alex Burstein, Editor-in-Chief

For a school building that has been around since 1934, Lane’s current campus has been relying on the same fans in the basement for the exhaust system for 90 years, according to Lane Principal Edwina Thompson. 

Now, with $35 million in funding set aside from the district, Lane is set for a significant exhaust system upgrade, Thompson announced last Thursday, Nov. 10, at the November LSC meeting. The upgrade, which will include new basement fans, should help improve air circulation throughout the building.

The upgrades, which include possible changes to the boiler room as well, come as Phase One of what will be a multi-phase upgrade for Lane. Thompson said the district has not given a date for Phase Two, but she is hoping central air conditioning can possibly be a part of that.

The school is aiming for Phase One to be completed this coming summer. The District is currently doing an assessment and will open up bidding in January 2023.

Here’s more on what happened at the November LSC meeting:


Purchase Orders

Four purchase orders were approved unanimously by the LSC. The first approval was for 32 Think Pads for the Robotics program. Including a three-year warranty, the cost will be $33,216.

Eight rolling tables for security, two for each entrance door, were also approved. This will help improve the flow of students entering in the morning while getting their backpacks checked. The cost is $17,402.

The final two purchase orders were regarding senior spring activities. The first one was for Sheraton Grand Chicago, where prom will be hosted. Since the approval will be for over $75,000, it has to be sent to the Chicago Board of Education to be approved, but the LSC was told it will not exceed $120,000. 

The other approval was for the UIC Pavillion on May 31 to host graduation. The cost of $42,000 includes equipment, labor and the actual rental fee.



The LSC unanimously approved four fundraisers as well. The four approvals were for a Boys Basketball Booster Club Snap Raise fundraiser, a Computer Science Booster Club trivia night, a “Mean Girls” candy cane sale from the junior student council and Friends of Lane’s 2022-23 Annual Appeal.


Principal Report

In addition to the new exhaust system upgrade, Thompson gave an update on recent events.

Thompson began her report by giving praise to the Open House, which was held on Oct. 29. Thompson said over 6000 people passed through the building that day, with 236 student tour guides helping attendees.

Lane’s Driver Education Department will be getting a modern upgrade, as they recently received a ComEd grant worth $50,000 to purchase an electric car. Thompson said there is a possibility the school will be able to install a charging station as well.

Thompson gave a reminder that parent-teacher conferences will be held in-person and virtually on Monday, Nov. 21. Thompson said she will be giving State of Lane presentations throughout the day with updates on the Continuous Improvement Work Program (CWIP).

Lane’s security for entering the school has been one of the more prominent topics at the LSC meetings this year. After a previous security setup didn’t work out as intended, the school is now testing an updated version of the current system. The updated system should help bags go through more efficiently and may allow the school to open up another door in the morning for students to enter.

Thompson closed out the report by talking about “Champions Hour,” — Lane’s new semi-monthly advisory period aimed to give students extra time for studying and work. Thompson said she had received positive reviews from students. The program will now head into a second phase: opening up a testing center for students to make up tests. The third phase will include more student-to-student tutoring.


LSC Resolutions

With fall sports wrapping up this past weekend, the Lane LSC honored the school’s recent athletic achievements.

The LSC honored Boys 16-inch Softball, Girls Swimming and Diving, and Boys Cross Country for their varsity city championships. For the state playoffs, Boys Soccer was honored for their regional title, while Girls Swimming and Diving and Boys and Girls Cross Country were acknowledged for their state final qualifiers.

The LSC also honored Girls Flag Football, who finished out their inaugural season with a semifinal berth in the city playoffs. Lane went 12-0 in the regular season.

Aside from Lane sports, junior Amaan Khan received praise in the form of a resolution for competing in the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in Panama City. Playing for Team Pakistan, Khan was one of the youngest players in the competition.

The final resolution was in honor of the Hoellen Family Foundation, a non-profit organization in Chicago that has been providing grants to Ravenswood-area schools since 1983. The foundation has donated over $300,000 to Lane scholarship funds.


The PPLC gave a brief report. The group is currently exploring the possibility of block scheduling in the future at Lane Tech.

The PPLC sent out a brief survey to teachers regarding the scheduling, and at the time of the meeting had received about 160 responses. The PPLC was set to meet to discuss the results on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Teacher Representative Rebecca Daly speaks during the PPLC report. (Alex Burstein)


Alumni Association

Alumni Association President Michelle Weiner gave an update on recent happenings, which include over $27,000 donated to 25 different teachers in grants.

Weiner also mentioned how for her first time as part of the Alumni Association, the group was represented at the Lane Open House, showing off Lane’s history with many years’ worth of class rings.

The Lane building also has reopened recently for in-person tours for class reunions, something that Weiner said all alumni have been enjoying. They have one more in-person tour scheduled for Dec. 3.

Alumni Association President Michelle Weiner addresses the LSC. (Alex Burstein)

The LSC closed the meeting with an announcement regarding necessary training modules from CPS for all LSC members. Meeting attendee Lisa Applebaum also announced that the school store has new merchandise for sale.

The LSC will meet next for their December meeting on Dec. 8, 2022, in Room 113 at 6:00 p.m.