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School District Spends $45,000 on Dog Training Facility
Photo: Andrea Arden

Dog training can be a lucrative business, but you need to have the proper training and it takes time to build a customer base. If you’re planning to start a dog training business, you will want to perform some basic market research to be sure you’re starting your business in an area where a canine training facility is needed. Apparently, one school district in Illinois thought their high school campus would be a good location for a dog training business.

Lincoln-Way Community High School, located in New Lenox, Illinois, spent almost $45,000 dollars without board approval to renovate a building on their campus and turn it into a training facility for canines. There was an old barn on the district’s North campus, which school officials transformed into a space suitable for dog training. The renovations took place in late 2011 and early 2012.

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School District Spends $45,000 on Dog Training Facility
Photo: behavior training and coaching

Known as the Superdog Obedience School, the facility is currently still holding classes. The businesses lead trainer worked with the high school’s former superintendent, Lawrence Wyllie, in the past. The school’s current superintendent, Scott Tingley, says that the school board knew nothing about the renovation expenses and did not approve them.

As if the situation was not absurd enough, the school district has been under scrutiny for poor financial management for quite some time, and they have announced that they will be closing Lincoln-Way North later this year. The irony in the fact that dogs will be able to attend classes while children will not is causing an uproar in the local community.

The controversial dog training program has been taken over by the Frankfort Square Park District at Tingley’s request. Although it’s in a controversial location, the business is doing very well. Some local officials are even saying that it is good for the local community and an asset to the school district as it rings in revenue.

Between May 2014 and December 2015, Superdog raked in over $76,000 in revenue. Almost $47,000 of that money went to the dog trainer and nearly $21,000 went to the school district. $4,210 was contributed to a scholarship program for graduating seniors and about $4,500 went to maintenance costs.

On one side of this debate you could argue that the school district should not have paid for the facility and the fact that the school board knew nothing about the barn renovation costs is a big problem. On the other hand, you could argue that the building expenses are being repaid and that the barn was unused space that is now generating revenue for the district.

Pairing a high school with a dog training facility seems like an odd match, but to me it seems that it may actually be a good fit. Sometimes the most unlikely things end up working out for the best, and in this case I think that is true.

School District Spends $45,000 on Dog Training Facility
Photo: airwaves1

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I understand the politics of the situation, but in the end, what is done is done and there is nothing that anyone can do to change the situation now. Why not see the silver lining? The dog training facility is bringing in revenue to a school district that is struggling financially.

It’s true that the students at the school are not getting any benefits from the facility, and I’m sure due to liability and insurance issues they probably won’t ever be able to. However, the barn would not be used for anything else, and clearly there is a large need for a dog training facility in that area.

I’m going to be following this story, and I’ll keep you posted with updates. For now, what are your thoughts? Do you think the training facility should stay? Is it a good idea to bring in revenue for the school district? Let me know your opinion in the comments below.