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updated: 8/26/2013 8:53 PM

District 87 OKs funding for capital projects

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There's a whole host of work Glenbard High School District 87 officials want to tackle over the course of the next decade at the four district high schools: classroom renovations and additions, roofing and mechanical work, and the addition of air conditioning to remaining areas at Glenbard East and West.

In order to accelerate some of that work and take advantage of low interest rates, the school board voted unanimously Monday night to authorize the sale of $20 million in bonds that will help pay for a portion of capital improvements identified in the district's $100 million master facility plan.

The proposed improvements at the four Glenbard high schools would be done over the course of 10 years, but it's expected the first projects would commence during the summer of 2014. The school board could consider approval of those projects in December, officials said.

"This board has (previously) looked at $2 million to $5 million worth of construction (projects) in the summer. This will be significantly more," said Board President Rich Heim. "It will be lots of big projects or maybe a lot of little projects, but all will be aligned with our master facility plan."

Heim said more specific projects will be identified in the coming months by Chris McClain, the district's assistant superintendent for business services, and the four building principals.

The $20 million in alternative revenue source bonds will be split into separate $10 million bond issues in 2013 and 2014. The district would pay $2.4 million in annual debt service from 2015 through 2024.

Bob Lewis, senior vice president at PMA Securities, the district's consultant, said several banks have expressed interest in the upcoming Glenbard bond sale. Their proposals are due Tuesday at noon, and if rates are advantageous, the sale of the first $10 million in bonds could come as early as this week.

District officials also are proposing to fund $35 million worth of total project costs through a referendum question by extending existing bonds that are due to expire in 2017. While that would not result in a tax rate increase, it would mean the tax rate would not decrease as scheduled.

The remaining $45 million in project costs would be funded by annual district operating funds.

The district is planning community forums at each school in September to discuss the master facility plan, among other topics. The Glenbard South forum is Sept. 12, Glenbard North on Sept. 17, Glenbard West on Sept. 25 and Glenbard East on Sept. 26.

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