Hinsdale’s top stories of 2012
A roller operator drives across Fourth Street in Hinsdale which was repaving a section of the street after a water main line was replaced along the side of the road. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Top 5 viewed stories on web
1. Eagle lands on disc golf course in Hinsdale
2. Hinsdale resident comes home to find a stranger in the house
3. Hinsdale woman disputes disorderly citation after Central game
4. Burglary on Third Street in Hinsdale
5. Hinsdale police issure more than 180 tickets during enforcement campaign
- Hinsdale construction season to last until November
- AC on in Hinsdale Central, but not all are satisfied
- Hinsdale’s Biggert has no regrets after congressional loss
- Hinsdale Center for the Arts closes its doors
- Hinsdale Arts center’s landlord surprised by vacancy
- Many upset by abrupt closing of Hinsdale arts center
- LaGrange Park baby first born in Hinsdale Hospital pavilion
- Hinsdale Village Board nearly doubles infrastructure budget
- Bus drop off and pick up moving to behind Hinsdale Central
- District 86 plans out summer projects
- Hinsdale High School District 86 summer construction on target
- New traffic pattern to greet Hinsdale District 86 students
- Hinsdale Central upgrades science labs
- Hinsdale Hospital invites community to patient pavilion open house
- Community gets first look Hinsdale Hospital’s new pavilion
Updated: February 25, 2013 2:20AM
HINSDALE — The top news stories in Hinsdale in 2012 involved construction — at schools, on roads and at the hospital, and the closing of two important chapters in the village’s history.
1. When the dust settles
Drivers through Hinsdale encountered orange signs warning construction ahead, not at every turn, but at many of them. The village continued its 15-year infrastructure rebuilding program, spending roughly $14 million on new water mains, separating the stormwater and sanitary sewers, and road resurfacing.
A dry summer favored the construction schedule, which still extended to mid-December in the Woodlands Green neighborhood.
Other streets that served as construction zones this year included Washington from Ogden Avenue to Maple Street; Grant from Center Street to Fourth Street; and Chestnut from Quincy Street east to Vine Street, which wrapped up improvements started in 2011. Fourth Street from Madison Street east to Garfield was resurfaced.
Those projects “finished on time and under budget,” village engineer Dan Deeter said.
The Woodlands, just west of Interstate 294 and north of 55th Street, embarked on a six-year project to upgrade its roads and utilities and to improve drainage in the area. Homeowners pay a portion of the cost through a special service area. The work includes bioswales and rain gardens, which have been filled in, but will not be planted until the spring.
Next year’s road projects will not be as extensive, Deeter said. But they will start “as soon as the weather breaks, as soon as the bituminous plants open, by April.”
2. Traffic is smoother and classrooms are cooler
Renovation projects over the summer at Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South improved the interior and exterior of both schools. Air conditioning was installed in all the instructional areas of both buildings. The science classrooms in Hinsdale Central were expanded and updated. The main entrance for Hinsdale Central on 55th Street and for Hinsdale South off Clarendon Hills Road were redesigned with better security and larger vestibules where students can wait inside for rides. Outside the schools, the parking lots were reconfigured to improve the traffic flow, with separate lanes for buses and cars and a new bus parking lot at rear of Hinsdale Central.
3. Biggert’s career in Congress comes to an end
Hinsdale resident Judy Biggert, a U.S. Congresswoman since 1999, failed to garner enough votes in a newly drawn 11th Congressional District. She lost the Nov. 6 election after a long, nasty and expensive campaign to Democrat Bill Foster of Naperville, who won 58.5 percent of the 254,000 votes cast.
Biggert, 75, knew the election would be tough when remapping eliminated the 13th district she previously represented and her home was drawn out of the new district, which stretched south and west to reach Joliet and Aurora.
“They thought that I would shy away from a tough race in a district tailor-made for my opponent,” Biggert said. “We turned what was supposed to be a Democrat slam-dunk into one of the most competitive races in the country.”
“Despite everything that gets said on the campaign trail, Congresswoman Biggert has always demonstrated a commitment to public service, serving in a political party that cannot always have been comfortable for her,” Foster said on election night.
4. Hinsdale Center for the Arts closes
Hinsdale Center for the Arts abruptly closed its doors this summer, without advance notice to instructors or students. Jan Tuthill, secretary of the non-profit organization’s Board of Trustees, said the decision was not as sudden as it seemed. “We’ve been having financial woes for awhile,” said Tuthill, after the center, which was established in 1980, ceased operations July 20. The recession caused the center, located in Katherine Legge Memorial Park, on County Line Road, to lose the grants and sponsorships it relied on for revenue, and low enrollment in summer programs broke the shoestring budget on which it survived.
The village staff has talked to groups interested in leasing the building, which Hinsdale owns, but no specific plans have been made, Hinsdale Village Manager David Cook said in December.
5. Hinsdale Hospital opens new patient pavilion
After 18 months, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital’s expansion was complete and its new Koplin Pavilion opened in April. The five-story patient pavilion is named for Alfred and Jean Koplin, longtime Hinsdale residents who donated more than $1 million for the building.
The $75 million project reduced the number of beds available from 342 to 277 to create more single-patient rooms with large windows, plasma TVs, wireless Internet access and room for rollout beds for family members who want to stay overnight. The hospital also designed a new critical care unit, updated its labor and delivery suites and built a new chapel, and a covered driveway on Oak Street.