ETHS celebrates newly designed front entrance at ribbon-cutting ceremony

October 7, 2013 04:30 PM


Photo: Lynn Trautmann, LTPhoto Evanston
The front entrance of Evanston Township High School (ETHS) underwent significant construction during the summer of 2013, ushering in the school year with a newly designed front entrance along Dodge Avenue. ETHS officially celebrated the redesign with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, October 4 at 4:00pm which coincided with Homecoming weekend at the school.
ETHS was established in 1883, with the original structure built at Dempster and Elmwood, and the current building at Dempster and Church opening in 1924. Additional wings were built in 1967 to accommodate a projected enrollment of 6,000 students. ETHS collaborated with architects, landscapers and garden clubs to create the new outdoor space for students, staff and visitors, which is not only welcoming, but practical and environmentally conscious.
"We are very pleased that the design by Dan Dalziel maintained the architectural integrity of this historic building, and incorporated many of the visual elements which make ETHS such a unique landmark in the Evanston community," remarked William Stafford, ETHS Chief Financial Officer who helped oversee the project.
The "greening" of the high school was also a major consideration with the redesign, adding 14 trees, 165 shrubs and 951 perennials as well as sod to establish new grassy areas. As a result, the front of the building has an arboretum-effect that reduces the carbon footprint of the school and aligns with the goal to make Evanston one of the greenest cities in the U.S. – one of the "ten ideas" that celebrates the city's 150th anniversary with community-wide initiatives (
Evanston Mayor Tisdahl (holding scissors, left) cuts the ribbon with ETHS District 202 Board member Gretchen Livingston to celebrate the new student commons at the front entrance of ETHS. ETHS District 202 Superintendent Eric Witherspoon (left, facing camera) and ETHS Principal Marcus Campbell (far right) were joined by district board members and local officials as they highlighted the features that were designed to be student-friendly. Photo: Lynn Trautmann, LTPhoto Evanston
Photo: Lynn Trautmann, LTPhoto Evanston
Before cutting the blue ribbon in front of the new student commons, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl commented on the importance of the high school to the community. "ETHS is the glue that holds our community together," said Mayor Tisdahl. In thanking the ETHS cheerleaders for representing a segment of the student body, she added, "You remind us all how proud we are of the school."
Practical elements such as an identifying school sign, widened sidewalks and increased lighting also make everyday use of the campus much more user-friendly during the day and provided an additional level of security in the evening. Similar features were also incorporated into the auditorium entrance area along Dodge Avenue to facilitate access to building for public events.
"We have received a very positive response from our Wildkit families during these first opening weeks of school and we are thrilled that ETHS now has an inviting student commons front entrance that complements its amazing structure," stated Eric Witherspoon, ETHS District 202 Superintendent.
For more information about the ETHS campus and facilities, visit



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