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D113 Board Releases Video Explaining April Referendum

The District 113 Board of Education explains the need for an $89 million referendum, to be on the April 9 ballot.

To make improvements at Highland Park and Deerfield high schools, the District 113 Board of Education will have an $89 million referendum on the April 9 consolidated election ballot.

The board has released a video to explain the need for the measure. The referendum was also addressed at the board's Jan. 14 meeting, which can be viewed here.

Proposed projects include:

  • $47.8 million in infrastructure work at DHS and HPHS (mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, technology, security, windows, ADA).
  • $26.1 million for repurposing the 100 year old B building at HPHS and reconstructing the 100 year old C and C Annex buildings at HPHS.
  • $19.6 million for new pools at DHS and HPHS.
  • $21.2 million for new multi-purpose gyms at DHS and HPHS.
  • $3.8 million for renovation of the library and media center at DHS.
  • $1.9 million for security enhancements at DHS and HPHS and ADA adaption of PE at DHS.

The district has committed $25 million from its current budgets to help finance these projects in addition to the $89 million referendum.

VIDEO: Board Members Explain Why They’re Seeking $89 M Referendum for Improvements

113 Board Puts $89 Million Referendum on Ballot

Readers Sound Off on Possible 113 Referendum

Vote Yes On April 9th

Letter to the Editor: Concerns Raised Over 113 Referendum

Walter White February 05, 2013 at 02:34 PM
OK, I'm going to make this painfully simple for the CLEAR people to answer. The narrative is that we will pay less than the average of the last 10 years. Here is the tax rate and tax paid for the last five. Tax Year, 113 Tax rate, Tax on a 300K home, Tax on a 900K home 2007, 1.567%, $1,567, $4,701 2008, 1.608%, $1,608, $4,824 2009, 1.694%, $1,694, $5,082 2010, 1.865%, $1,865, $5,595 2011, 2.102%, $2,105, $6,315 So a $300K home is paying $538 per year more in 2011 than it did in 2007. A $900K home is paying $1,614 more in 2011 than it did in 2007. My simple question is: what will be the tax rates for the next 5 years if the referendum is passed? Once old debt it paid off will we see a decrease? This is the crux of the matter, folks. You've done a great job laying out the physical improvements in detail. Now, please do the same for the financial impact. The sooner we get this answer the better.
Richard H Heineman Jr February 05, 2013 at 02:46 PM
The discussions are about the amount of taxes that go towards paying for Bonds principal and interest. That is what is impacted by the referendum. For a detailed presentation please go to the districts website. The information that you have requested is on pages 19 and 20 of this PowerPoint. http://www.dist113.org/Documents/Board%20of%20Education%20Presentation%201%2014%2013.pdf This information will be a part of all communication to the public
Walter White February 05, 2013 at 03:06 PM
OK, so for the next 5 years the cost of the referendum to a $600,000 home owner would be $326, $323, $316, $311, and $304.
Ken Robertson February 05, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Walter - I'm glad that you are taking the time to review the data and get the facts. That is important for everyone in the community to do in order to make an educated decision.
Walter White February 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Absolutely. You wouldn't make improvements to your home without knowing what the cost would be to YOU. Everyone should know what their cost will be before voting.
Ken Robertson February 05, 2013 at 04:13 PM
The other side of that coin is knowing that it will cost you more to fix things in a piecemeal/band-aid approach, something the community groups addressed. Also, if you didn't notice on the presentation, the cost analysis is based on a 1% higher bond rate than is current, in order to hedge against increases in the near term. The actual cost could be lower.
RonnieTheLimoDriver February 06, 2013 at 03:39 AM
What is the impact of using reserves for part of the funding? Does anybody know? What happens if the "value engineering" or whatever buzzword it was called does not work out? Do we know if there is a backup plan?
Richard H Heineman Jr February 06, 2013 at 04:38 AM
There have been questions about how the project will use $25 million from district "reserves". This is not totally accurate. I will provide some information on the cash flow. First, this is a 5 year project. At the beginning of the process we will sell the $89 million in bonds to lock in current low interest rates. Each of the next 5 years $5 million will be provided from operating funds. This is a normal capital budget. Expenses associated with the project will take place over the 5 years, a portion from our normal annual capital budget ($3.5 million) and a portion from other operations ($1.5 million), with the bulk in the last 4. This is expected to be no more than $114 million, after value engineering reductions are applied. No part of the plan calls for using the reserves that serve as working capital and help us maintain our AAA credit rating. It is 100% false to state that these funds will be replenished by "new taxes", as has been stated elsewhere.
Matt February 09, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Hey Walt, your acting as if we really have a choice here. We live in one of the most affluent suburbs in Chicago. That means normal people expect the infrastructure (high schools) to be at a minimum, up to par with the standards set by surrounding suburbs. Have you traveled around to other surrounding high schools lately? Have you seen the investment made at Glenbrook North and South? We are feeling the pain of a poorly executed infrastructure deferal strategy and it has finally caught up with us. It's time Deerfield and Highland Park do what should have been done over many years; invest now. We all have a stake in Deerfield and Highland Park and we all want our investment to appreciate so again how can we really say no? If the associated tax burden is that stressing you can always move.

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