December 12, 2023
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Board authorizes referendum to address facility needs

On Dec. 11, 2023, the Glenbard District 87 Board of Education took action that may have a lasting positive effect on the learning environment in all Glenbard high schools. The board authorized the administration to proceed with a referendum to assist in funding Glenbard District 87’s 10-year Facility Master Plan.

Learn more on referendum page

A group of parents, students, principals and members of the planning team presented our recommendation on funding the Facility Master Plan to the board at its Nov. 27 meeting. The plan is the culmination of a process that began in 2022 to identify next steps to improve Glenbard’s four high schools and gather community feedback on priorities.

On Dec. 11, the board unanimously approved a resolution to place a question on the March 19, 2024 ballot to seek voter approval to issue $183 million in bonds to improve the sites of and alter, repair and equip Glenbard’s four high schools, which are between 51 and 101 years old. The new Facility Master Plan identified $312 million of priorities for improvements at each of the high schools. Glenbard District 87 is asking the community to approve $183 million of bonds to fund the plan, and the district will contribute $129 million of funding from its operating revenues over the next 10 years to fund the $312 million plan.

The bond proposal will cost the owner of a $300,000 home about $4 per week. Use this tax estimate calculator for estimate of tax payment increase on Glenbard District 87 building bonds referendum on March 19, 2024.

Superintendent David Larson said, “This is an exciting chapter in Glenbard’s history. I look forward to moving forward with this proposal. We have many facility needs, and we are eager to launch the 10-year facility master plan to address those needs.”

In February, Glenbard District 87 engaged Wold Architects & Engineers to develop a new 10-year facility master plan. The previous 10-year facility plan concluded with the summer 2023 capital improvement projects. In 2014, Glenbard committed to spending $100 million over 10 years on the facility needs; however, Glenbard exceeded that commitment by spending $154 million over the past 10 years ($35 million from 2014 referendum) while maintaining balanced budgets.

The proposed improvements will address significant needs. While Glenbard’s buildings are structurally sound, they are old and out-of-date. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations/CSBO Seth Chapman said, “We are committed to ensuring our buildings support today’s best practices in curriculum and instruction. The referendum is a path forward that continues our history of responsible planning. We spend less on buildings and operations; carry less debt; and have a lower tax rate than most districts in the metropolitan area.”

Addressing these needs now allows Glenbard to continue to protect what matters most by avoiding expensive, future repairs. “Doing so will make sure we continue to provide the type of schools and community our children and families need and deserve,” Larson said.

The majority of the projects identified in the new 10-year Facility Master Plan fall into the following categories:

  • Continue to upgrade and renovate, where needed, building infrastructure – items like roofs, windows, electrical systems, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems
  • Enhance safety and security systems and entrances throughout the district
  • Upgrade out-of-date science labs
  • Modify classrooms to support current best practices in curriculum and instruction
  • Upgrade cafeteria space to provide flexible learning and program spaces and eliminate overcrowding

Investing in community assets is critical as Glenbard District 87 maintains approximately 1.6 million square feet of space and continues to demonstrate fiscal stewardship demonstrated by the low amount of the total budget allocated toward debt payments (roughly 2.2%).

The following is how the referendum will be stated on the ballot:

Shall the Board of Education of Glenbard Township High School District Number 87, DuPage County, Illinois, install safety and security improvements, increase accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, repair and replace mechanical systems, roofs and other infrastructure, improve energy efficiency and technology infrastructure, renovate classrooms, science labs, vocational labs and learning spaces and undertake other building and site improvements to, and purchase equipment for, each of the School District’s four high schools – Glenbard East, Glenbard North, Glenbard South and Glenbard West – and issue its bonds to the amount of $183,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?