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Poll: Which Plan Should 113 Adopt?

Will the leadership team’s report or the Education First proposal suit Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools? Or, is there a third way?

Two plans for capital improvements were presented to the to meet the long term needs of and .

One proposal came from the District’s citizen leadership team, which has been working with five other committees to reexamine the needs of the two schools since

The leadership team’s outline lists priorities in tiers that it believes merit the Board’s attention with the top rung taken care of ahead of other ideas. The swimming pools at both schools are in the top tier. A more detailed look can be found on the District’s website.

The other plan proposes two separate referenda, one that's $30.9 million for infrastructure and another that's $22.9 million for vocational and physical education. The plan was authored by Education First, a non-board authorized group that organized against the 2011 referendum.

The Education First plan is similar to the leadership team's in some ways: both recommend replacing the pools at both high schools, for example. However, the Education First plan argues against increasing school capacity, citing a . Details of Education First's plan are available on the group's website.

Patch readers Since a story about the two plans was published Tuesday morning, there have been over 30 comments left about the subject.

Richard Heinemann, who was one of the leaders of CARE, a group which campaigned for the referendum last year, thinks the proposal of the leadership team will ease the work of the administration and Board.

“The presentation that was made covered the general recommendations,” Heinemann wrote. “All of the work that was done during the year long process is available to the professional staff. This will greatly shorten the time required to complete the process.”

Dan Jenks praised the methodology behind the leadership team's proposal, but also had kind words for Education First's plan.

"A cursory review of their proposal suggests that there are some positive features," Jenks wrote, citing the fact that the proposal addresses the moisture issues in the B and C buildings and is willing to consider replacing the pools in Highland Park and Deerfield High Schools. "All of this stuff is important and was in the original referendum."

Though some people have expressed disappointment at the lack of costs contained in the leadership team’s report, Walter Hainsfurther, one of the people who made the presentation at the meeting, explained the effort was not an end product.

“There are numerous ways to solve the issues facing these facilities, each with a different cost and trade-off,” Hainsfurther writes. “The community needs to see those options before determining what is best for the community. A professional needs to analyze the costs involved in each option.”

But readers like Gerry Meister believe that a price tag needs to be put on this project sooner rather than later in order to help the board prioritize what aspects are most important.

"The only answer to realize that goal of a prioirty driven master plan is establish an affordable cost that the taxpayers are willing to pay and fit the priorities within it," Meister writes. "Carte Blanche approach does not work in District 113."

Harry Steindler May 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Average Joe - good points yet Ed First places PE and athletics other than pools in "the second" referendum, constantly referring to the community survey results to support their general anti PE and athletic facilities slant.
Walter (Tripp) Hainsfurther May 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I would just like to ask everyone not to jump the gun here. The process has worked so far, despite what some may think. We are not done yet. There are literally hundreds of potential solutions, each with strengths, weaknesses and costs. we'll get to the solution that meets our goals of creating facilities that foster educational excellence while respecting the taxpayers of the district. Regarding the inflatable structure, the Bears haven't used an inflatable dome since they moved to their current facility. They sold the dome to developers who installed it at the HP Golf Learning Center, where it eventually sprung a leak and had to be replaced. Domes have a higher maintenance cost than normal structures, and there are other options like pre-fabricated metal buildings or using wood arches like the Bears current facility. All of these should be considered if a track winds up in the accepted plan.
David Greenberg May 26, 2012 at 07:52 AM
Actually, the pools do meet regulation depth, or they wouldn't be allowed to operate by the State of Illinois Department of Public Health. The discussion over depth came about because the IHSA has its own set of standards (not available - private organization) for depth which are deeper than what we currently have. Others have stated that the IHSA depends upon yet another standard - and when I looked that one up (publicly available) - the preamble to that organization's regulations says that they're only for Olympic venues... There's even a person who was a swimming coach for 40 years who doesn't agree with the IHSA's depth regulation... I've tried to get more details on the reasoning behind the IHSA's regulation, but since the information is privately held by the IHSA and their members, it's not available to me.
David Greenberg May 26, 2012 at 07:56 AM
Sure, they're important, but why should all the taxpayers fund every extracurricular and athletic activity out there? You mention "sufficient" funding. What dollar amount do you consider sufficient? And when you claim that sufficient funding enriches the entire community, upon what do you base that claim?
Average Joe May 26, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I get a kick out of these forums, they are a cross between The View and The McLaughlin Group. Around and a around we go, what do we accomplish, nobody knows.

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