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Glen Ellyn

D-87 board approves $35M referendum for March ballot

A referendum question asking voters to support the issuance of $35 million in bonds to fund facility projects in Glenbard Township High School District 87 will appear on the March 18, 2014, election ballot.

The district's Board of Education unanimously voted to place the measure on the ballot at its meeting Nov. 18.

"It's important for the board to take care of the buildings," Superintendent David Larson said.

The bonds will support the district's Master Facility Plan, which includes $100 million of work to be executed during the course of 10 years, focusing on primary infrastructure improvements and renovations of classrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces.

The $35 million in bonds would extend the district's current bond debt, which is set to expire in Fiscal Year 2026. Instead, the bond debt would continue through Fiscal Year 2039, according to a report prepared by PMA Securities, the district's financial adviser.

The extension would keep tax rates at their current levels, instead of allowing them to decrease, officials said. Residents' tax rates would not increase as a result of the bond issuance.

The remaining $65 million of the Master Facility Plan will be funded by District 87's Operations and Maintenance budget, which totals about $6.5 million each year. In order to provide available funding more quickly, the board previously approved issuing bonds to borrow $20 million that will be paid off using that budget.

The Master Facility Plan was developed by Legat Architects of Chicago with input from the district and community collected during several months, through stakeholder focus groups and a steering committee. The committee included board members, staff, faculty, administrators, students, parents and community members.

The plan was reviewed and accepted by the Board of Education in December 2011.

Legat Architects originally identified $179 million worth of work to be completed during the plan's 10-year cycle. However, the district scaled that back to $100 million, determining the other $79 million to be work that would be addressed in the following 10 years, Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Chris McClain previously told Glen Ellyn Suburban Life.

As approved, the referendum measure will read:

"Shall the Board of Education of Glenbard Township High School District Number 87, DuPage County, Illinois, improve the sites of and alter, repair and equip each of the School District’s four high schools – Glenbard East, Glenbard North, Glenbard South and Glenbard West and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $35,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?"

The $35 million is expected to be used to fund $8 million of projects in summer 2016, $18 million in summer 2017 and $9 million in summer 2018, according to the PMA report.

In order to appear on the March ballot, the referendum will need to be filed with the DuPage County Board of Election Commissioners by Jan. 9.

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