Hanover HighlandsIn 2014 Hanover Highlands School in Hanover Park will celebrate their 50th birthday!  It was built by Hanover Highland Homes, Inc.–the builder who built the subdivision by the same name in Hanover Park.  This subdivision and school is in the far southwest corner of Schaumburg Township and is bordered by Irving Park Road and Barrington Road.

When the school opened in the spring of 1964 it was a small, six-classroom building.  The builder donated the 5 1/2 acre school site to the village who, in turn, donated it to the school district.  The building is one-story and was valued at $120,000.  “The design, by architect Harry P. Shaxted, A.I.A., of Lincolnwood, features all-masonry construction with window curtain walls, pre-cast exposed aggregate stone panels, and exposed laminated beam ceilings.  The entrance is of rough swan cedar board and batten, stained in a delicate olive green.”  (Chicago Tribune, March 7, 1964)

It was pretty obvious that this didn’t begin to be enough room for the growing neighborhood that was feeding into the school.  So, by the end of the same year, eight additional classrooms were added on to the building bringing the value of the school up to $300,000.  As part of the building process, a library was added as well as a room for speech correction, administrative offices and a teachers’ lounge.  The school was able to house first through sixth grades as well as kindergarten classes even though not every classroom was being used at the time.

As a bit of trivia, it is worth mentioning that the name for the school was decided early in the building process and, according to the November 14, 1963 issue of the Hoffman Herald, it “was the only one seriously discussed by the board.” Sixteen days after the board made this decision, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  By December 5th people were suggesting that the name should be changed to honor the fallen president.  Board members made a decision to retain the Hanover Highlands title citing the fact that future schools would be built in District 54 and may bear the president’s name.

Around 470 students now attend this school that has grown substantially since its days of six classrooms with 200 children.  There are now 75 staff members  versus the six, just-educated teachers who started their year and careers at the school.  It now serves an ethnically diverse population and has a special Spanish-English Dual Language program to accommodate a number of their students.

If you attended Hanover Highlands school during the past 50 years and have any photos, programs, papers, brochures or other paraphernalia from your days at the school, the PTA would love to talk to you.  Contact me at the email address or phone number below and I will pass it on to the school’s contact person.  It would be much appreciated.  Let’s help make their celebration a memorable one!

Jane Rozek
Local History Librarian
Schaumburg Township District Library

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