Happy New Year!  

We felt it was important to present this special facilities edition of Board Business as we work to firm up plans to address our most pressing facilities needs in 2017. One of our main goals over the past few years was to engage our stakeholders in a comprehensive facilities planning process. We continue to be committed to a plan that represents the priorities of the taxpayers and meets the needs of our students.  

Based on a report provided by a Community Facilities Task Force last spring, results from the community survey this past November, and work completed by the architects and construction manager, the Board of Education is working on a referendum question to be placed on the April 2017 ballot. The Board will be presented a resolution to place the question on the April 4, 2017 ballot at our next meeting, Monday, January 9 at 7 p.m., at the District 41 Central Services Office. If you cannot be at the meeting, we hope you will watch online via the district website Click Here .

We feel this is a good time to consider addressing the district's highest facilities needs because the district will soon pay off the bonds associated with past building projects and interest rates are still at historic lows. Please review the information below and feel free to reach out to any Board of Education member with questions.  

We also invite you to attend a facilities focused
Board Coffee and Conversation
THIS SATURDAY
January 7 from 8 to 10 a.m.
District 41 Central Services Office
793 N. Main Street, Glen Ellyn

Two Board members and key staff will be there to provide information about facilities needs as well as answer your questions.  

Thank you for your continued support of School District 41.  
Erica Nelson
President



Background: Facilities Challenges

Over the years, District 41 has been presented with a number of challenges related to school facilities, including:

  • Ten portable classrooms at Hadley -- Starting in 2001, 32 portable classrooms were installed throughout the district and were in use until 2014 when portables at the elementary schools were eliminated and started to be replaced with new classroom additions. (Phase I of the District 41 Facilities Plan). The district does not have funds to replace the portables at Hadley.
  • The schools are at capacity and are not able to provide the space to add full-day kindergarten.
  • The State of Illinois requires school districts to conduct a 10- year Life Safety review. The report has increased the urgency to complete specific facility life safety needs within a five-year time period.  

In February 2015, the Board of Education directed the administration to obtain feedback from the community through a Facilities Community Task Force. This Task Force of about 30 people studied the district school facilities needs for approximately 9 months an d presented a report t o the administration and Board of Education in April 2016.

In November 2016, the district contracted the national school district survey experts School Perceptions to conduct a community survey of all 12,000 h ouseholds within the school district boundaries. The survey specifically asked questions about facilities based on the Facilities Task Force recommendation. Th e results of the survey re vealed information that suggests a referendum is a viable option for the school district.

Currently, the Board of Education is considering how to address the most pressing facilities needs.



Referendum Question: Facilities Priorities
In order to fund major building projects, voters would need to support a referendum to issue construction bonds. After reviewing all of the available data points and engaging the community in conversations related to facilities, the Board of Education is now in the process of drafting a Referendum Question.

According to the community survey, some areas of needs have more support than others and the Board had to prioritize needs based on the threshold that the community would support. The survey asked the community about over $50 million in projects. The community survey expert explained that the community (through the survey) indicated their threshold could be in the $30 to 35 million range. The Board scaled it back to $25 million based on the most pressing priorities and what the Board felt the community would support.  

The Board IS considering asking the community for approximately $25 million dollars to address the following pressing facilities needs, including:
  • Eliminate 10 portable classrooms at Hadley Junior High
  • Addressing infrastructure and health life safety issues, such as:
    • Roofing at all schools
    • ADA bathrooms at all schools
    • Security of entranceway at Churchill School
    • Hadley bus lane on district property

Although still on the Board's radar, the Board is NOT considering adding the following to a referendum question at this time:
  • Adding space for full-day kindergarten at the elementary schools
  • Building new space for a cafeteria and/or music to Hadley Junior High School
These priorities did not have enough community support through the survey to include them within a referendum. The Board of Education and the district will continue conversations with our parents and the community about how to address these two items in the future.  



Funding: What will happen to my taxes if the community supports a referendum?  
In 2018, the District will pay off the bonds that funded past building projects.

This reduction of debt payments would give the community an opportunity to invest around $25 million to update our schools and have a tax decrease over the taxes paid in 2016.  
    Example:  
    If a community member pays $8,000 in 2016, the District 41 debt portion of their tax bill would decrease by approximately $83 dollars.  
If the community does not support a referendum the same homeowner would have a tax decrease of $199 on the District 41 debt portion of their tax bill. 



The Board thanks you for taking the time to review this important information. It takes all of us to support the learning of the children who live in our communities.  


CONTACT THE BOARD
President (term ends April, 2019)
Vice President (term ends April, 2017)
(term ends April, 2017) 
(term ends April, 2017)
(term ends April, 2019)
Secretary (term ends April, 2019)
(term ends April, 2017)

 
PLEASE NOTE: All emails sent to Board members are reviewed by the Board Recording Secretary and may be forwarded to the Superintendent as appropriate. Also, any email sent to a representative of District 41, employee or board member, constitutes a public record that may be released under the Freedom of Information Act.