GLEN ELLYN – Following the counting of additional mail-in ballots, the lead remains narrow in voter approval – nine votes – of Glen Ellyn School District 41's $24.2 million referendum that would fund an addition to Hadley Junior High School and make improvements to the district's four elementary schools.
As it stands now, the April 4 referendum received 2,665 "yes" votes to 2,656 "no" votes. On Election Day, the total was 2,663 "yes" votes compared to 2,652 "no" votes.
As of April 10, there still were 13 vote-by-mail ballots that had not been turned in, said Joe Sobecki, interim executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission.
"Whether or not we receive them, it just depends if they get mailed," Sobecki said.
The law requires that officials wait two weeks after an election for the mail-in ballots to come in, Sobecki said. Officials will wait until April 18 for those ballots, and the election results will be certified April 24.
"The results won't change after that Tuesday," he said.
In an April 5 email sent to community members, District 41 Superintendent Paul Gordon said the district will be waiting for the official election results in the coming weeks.
"We will communicate the news as soon as we hear from the election commission," Gordon said. "If the referendum passes, we look forward to continuing to engage with the community to make the proposed projects become a reality."
The referendum would fund a two-story addition to replace the 10 portable classrooms at Hadley, along with a new music space in the addition. The referendum also would pay for infrastructure and roofing improvements at Hadley, as well as a bus lane on district property designed to reduce traffic congestion in the neighborhood. Americans with Disabilities Act entrances to the school's bathrooms also would be funded through the referendum.
The work at Hadley is estimated to cost $17 million, while another $7.2 million is earmarked for work at the district's four elementary schools as part of the referendum, including ADA-accessible entrances to bathrooms, infrastructure and roof repair, a secure entrance at Churchill Elementary School and increased lunch capacity at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.
Principal and interest payments for the $24.2 million referendum would cost the district an estimated $40.8 million over a 20-year period, district officials said.
In 2018, the district is set to pay off the bonds that funded past building projects. Officials said taxpayers who will pay $8,000 in taxes to the district in 2016 would see their tax bills decrease by about $85 as a result of the reduction of debt payments, if the referendum were passed. If the referendum were voted down, those same homeowners would see a decrease of $199 on the district's portion of their tax bills.