By Chris Fox

For The Elmhurst Independent

 

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 19, the District 205 School Board heard a presentation from the consultants who are helping the board and district staff gain community feedback about the formation of the district’s master facility plan. Lesley Rogers and Marcia Sutter presented the board with feedback from recent community meetings and information sessions. District employees took notes at all of the recent events to obtain community feedback.

 

Board considers referendum for funding

The board is considering asking district voters to approve a referendum to borrow money to pay for renovation and construction of the district’s schools. The costliest option for renovation and construction calls for budgeting $168.5 million to pay for improvements. If the board wants to put a referendum question on the ballot in the November 2018 election, it would have to adopt a resolution no later than Aug. 20.

 

Overview of public meetings, residents’ concerns

A total of about 390 people attended the recent meetings, with 209 of those people attending four community meetings. Rogers and Sutter said the subject of school boundaries and potential boundary adjustments sparked conversation among the attendees. The consultants said the majority of the district residents who attended the meetings preferred moving forward to maintaining the status quo at the district’s schools. The attendees wanted to keep students within walking distance of their schools.

The feedback further indicated that the attendees are interested in the timeline of any construction or renovation at their particular school. Additionally, the attendees were concerned with safety and security at the district’s schools. Most were in favor of the district offering all-day kindergarten. Concern was raised about parity among the district’s elementary and middle schools and ensuring that the district’s students had similar opportunities and experiences before they got to York High School.

The consultants noted they had heard differing opinions regarding the potential pursuit of a referendum to fund construction and renovations at the district’s schools. While some residents urged the district not to rush the process, others said the district had worked on its master facility plan long enough, and it was time to move forward.

Board member Shannon Ebner said the district needed to have some closure on any potential boundary adjustments before moving forward with pursuing its master facility plan. The board will reportedly discuss any potential boundary adjustments at this week’s special meeting on June 28. That meeting will include discussion of the draft master facility plan.

 

 

 

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