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."