Closing some of North Shore School District 112’s mixture of eight elementary and three middle schools is one of the possibilities which will be presented at a series of meetings in February presented by the Superintendent’s Citizen Finance and Facilities Advisory Committee.
The Committee released a video Friday hinting at the possibility of rehabilitating some schools and closing others in light of the fact revenue increases in the form of property tax hikes are limited under state law. Click on the video above to view it in its entirety.
“District 112 is at a critical juncture as some of our schools are in need of significant repairs,” one of the committee members said in the video. The average age of the buildings is 74 when Oak Terrace is excluded.
“Some of the buildings in our District were built before you could even conceptualize a school bus,” committee member and Red Oak Elementary School parent Eric Ephraim said in a news release from the District. “We’re still educating kids in those buildings.”
Specific schools which could be closed or resulting redrawn boundaries will not be discussed at these meetings Feb. 13 through March 2 which will be geared to broader topics to gain community input before a final plan is put together.
The three broad options the Committee will discuss are continuing to operate the District’s 12 buildings without seeking additional revenue, using the existing structures with a bond issue for improvements and sell bonds to renovate and maintain fewer buildings.
“The meetings will provide an opportunity for community members to learn about the committee’s findings to date, share their perceptions of the District’s challenges and weigh in on some possible options,” Committee Co-Chair Len Tenner said in the release. Community feedback will be incorporated into future considerations.
The meetings are scheduled 9:30 a.m. Feb. 13, 9 p.m. Feb. 19, 9:30 a.m. Feb. 22, 9 p.m. Feb. 26 and 9 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Highland Park Country Club as well as 4 p.m. March 2 at Oak Terrace. The first five meetings will be conducted in English with Spanish translation available while the Oak Terrace gathering will be in Spanish only.