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D113 Board Releases Video Explaining April Referendum

The District 113 Board of Education explains the need for an $89 million referendum, to be on the April 9 ballot.

To make improvements at Highland Park and Deerfield high schools, the District 113 Board of Education will have an $89 million referendum on the April 9 consolidated election ballot.

The board has released a video to explain the need for the measure. The referendum was also addressed at the board's Jan. 14 meeting, which can be viewed here.

Proposed projects include:

  • $47.8 million in infrastructure work at DHS and HPHS (mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, technology, security, windows, ADA).
  • $26.1 million for repurposing the 100 year old B building at HPHS and reconstructing the 100 year old C and C Annex buildings at HPHS.
  • $19.6 million for new pools at DHS and HPHS.
  • $21.2 million for new multi-purpose gyms at DHS and HPHS.
  • $3.8 million for renovation of the library and media center at DHS.
  • $1.9 million for security enhancements at DHS and HPHS and ADA adaption of PE at DHS.

The district has committed $25 million from its current budgets to help finance these projects in addition to the $89 million referendum.

VIDEO: Board Members Explain Why They’re Seeking $89 M Referendum for Improvements

113 Board Puts $89 Million Referendum on Ballot

Readers Sound Off on Possible 113 Referendum

Vote Yes On April 9th

Letter to the Editor: Concerns Raised Over 113 Referendum

Walter White February 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Absolutely. You wouldn't make improvements to your home without knowing what the cost would be to YOU. Everyone should know what their cost will be before voting.
Ken Robertson February 05, 2013 at 04:13 PM
The other side of that coin is knowing that it will cost you more to fix things in a piecemeal/band-aid approach, something the community groups addressed. Also, if you didn't notice on the presentation, the cost analysis is based on a 1% higher bond rate than is current, in order to hedge against increases in the near term. The actual cost could be lower.
RonnieTheLimoDriver February 06, 2013 at 03:39 AM
What is the impact of using reserves for part of the funding? Does anybody know? What happens if the "value engineering" or whatever buzzword it was called does not work out? Do we know if there is a backup plan?
Richard H Heineman Jr February 06, 2013 at 04:38 AM
There have been questions about how the project will use $25 million from district "reserves". This is not totally accurate. I will provide some information on the cash flow. First, this is a 5 year project. At the beginning of the process we will sell the $89 million in bonds to lock in current low interest rates. Each of the next 5 years $5 million will be provided from operating funds. This is a normal capital budget. Expenses associated with the project will take place over the 5 years, a portion from our normal annual capital budget ($3.5 million) and a portion from other operations ($1.5 million), with the bulk in the last 4. This is expected to be no more than $114 million, after value engineering reductions are applied. No part of the plan calls for using the reserves that serve as working capital and help us maintain our AAA credit rating. It is 100% false to state that these funds will be replenished by "new taxes", as has been stated elsewhere.
Matt February 09, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Hey Walt, your acting as if we really have a choice here. We live in one of the most affluent suburbs in Chicago. That means normal people expect the infrastructure (high schools) to be at a minimum, up to par with the standards set by surrounding suburbs. Have you traveled around to other surrounding high schools lately? Have you seen the investment made at Glenbrook North and South? We are feeling the pain of a poorly executed infrastructure deferal strategy and it has finally caught up with us. It's time Deerfield and Highland Park do what should have been done over many years; invest now. We all have a stake in Deerfield and Highland Park and we all want our investment to appreciate so again how can we really say no? If the associated tax burden is that stressing you can always move.

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