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updated: 1/29/2013 1:09 PM

Lake Park: Both questions must pass to build pool

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If voters give mixed signals about building a new swimming pool at Lake Park High School, the school board formally has vowed not to proceed with the project.

Two questions will appear on the April 9 ballot -- one authorizing the school district to borrow $8 million to build the pool and another to increase taxes to cover the estimated $380,000 needed annually to maintain it.

After the board earlier this month approved placing the matter on the ballot, some residents expressed concerns that if the tax increase were approved but the construction question defeated, the district could use the new tax money for other purposes.

To address those concerns, the District 108 school board Monday unanimously passed a resolution stating it will not build the pool if voters say no to either ballot question. The resolution reads, "In order to proceed with construction of the pool, the resolution for construction of the pool and the resolution for operational costs would both need to pass. The Lake Park High School Board of Education would not accept the operational funds if the voters did not approve construction of the pool."

If both referendum questions pass, an 18,210-square-foot pool building would be built at Lake Park's East Campus in Roselle. It would include an eight-lane, 25-yard-by-59-foot pool, a four-lane warming pool and seating for 350 people.

The warming/teaching pool was added to accommodate use by the community for activities such as swim lessons and water aerobics.

In addition to the $8 million for construction, officials estimate annual operating costs of about $380,000 for such expenses as chemicals, natural gas, lifeguards and a capital improvement fund.

The $8 million loan would be paid off over 10 years. That and operating costs would mean a tax increase of about $32 for the owner of a $300,000 home, or about $21 on a $200,000 home.

The school board spent more than a year researching a way to build the pool after a group of residents and parents, called People for a Pool, approached it with a request in November 2011.

The group was concerned because Lake Park's swim and dive team would be displaced this winter through February, 2014 from College of DuPage -- their home site -- due to construction at COD.

Swimmers temporarily are holding meets at Streamwood High School and divers compete at Hoffman Estates High School.

District administrators, the school board and the community group worked together to research construction and operational costs. Part of their work included researching other schools that operate successful pools, even traveling as far as Indiana.

People for a Pool also helped pay for some of the $12,000 feasibility study and plans to do fundraising to offset the cost of the pool.

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