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Glenbard District 87 voters approve $35 million bond referendum

LOMBARD – Voters in Glenbard Township High School District 87 have approved a $35 million bond referendum proposal that will fund facility improvement projects at the district's four schools.

With all precincts reporting, the referendum proposal passed with 11,238 (59 percent) "yes" votes and 7,888 (41 percent) "no" votes, according to preliminary results on the DuPage County Election Commission website.

"We are very excited to move forward," Glenbard District 87 Superintendent David Larson said. "This is a reflection on the Glenbard communities and how they invest in our kids."

The $35 million referendum will extend the district’s bond debt – currently due to expire in Fiscal Year 2026 – through fiscal year 2039, according to a report prepared by PMA Securities, the district’s financial adviser.

The bonds will 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.

The district’s Board of Education voted unanimously in November 2013 to place the measure on the ballot. Residents’ tax rates will not increase as a result of the bond issuance.

"We are very grateful for the community support," said Steve Garwood, spokesperson for Glenbard 4 Kids, a parent-led ballot initiative group formed in December 2013.

Glenbard 4 Kids has been busy rallying referendum support in the communities that make up the four high schools. Their campaign included public forums, mailers and a heavy social media presence.

"I think the campaign we put forth really got the message out on behalf of District 87 students," Garwood said, adding that a last push included handing out fliers during rush hour at local Metra stations.

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, a majority of which will include infrastructure improvements and renovations of classrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces.

The district will fund the remaining $65 million of its Master Facility Plan through its Operations and Maintenance budget, which is about $6.5 million per year. The board previously approved issuing bonds to borrow $20 million that will be paid off using that budget.

The Master Facility Plan, reviewed and approved by the Board of Education in December 2011, was developed by Legat Architects of Chicago with input from the district and community members, who participated in several months of focus groups.

A steering committee, comprised of board members, staff, faculty, administrators, students, parents and community members, was also formed to gather feedback.

Legat Architects originally identified $179 million worth of work to be completed during the plan’s 10-year cycle. However, the district scaled the plan back to $100 million after determining that the remaining $79 million of work will be addressed in the following 10 years.

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Financial impact to taxpayers

• The Board of Education says it's committed to not increasing Bond & Interest Fund tax rate.

• The Current Bond & Interest Fund tax rate will be maintained.

• The referendum will extend the amount of time taxpayers will pay for capital projects.

• The owner of a $300,000 market value home will continue to pay $69 per year.

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