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posted: 2/24/2014 5:01 AM

Endorsement: 'Yes' to Glenbard 87

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The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Voters in Glenbard High School District 87 will see a ballot request March 18 seeking permission to borrow $35 million to pay for building repairs and improvements. The loan would cover the unfunded portion of a plan to improve security at all four high schools, add air conditioning at Glenbard East and Glenbard West, update heating and ventilation systems, modernize science labs and repair and maintain the buildings, which range from 41 to 87 years old. All told, the 10-year plan calls for $100 million in improvements, needed projects winnowed from a wish list three times the size, officials say. The bulk of the work will be funded with $45 million the district has available in operating funds; the district already has borrowed another $20 million it can repay with existing revenues. If voters approve, District 87 would borrow the remaining $35 million, to be repaid with property taxes, and stagger the loans to replace existing debt as it is paid off. Property owners wouldn't see a tax increase as a result of the borrowing, but they also wouldn't see their taxes decrease. In 2017, the proposed debt would account for $24 on the tax bill of a $265,500 house; by 2024 it would account for $61. Though we would prefer a funding plan that allowed tax bills to drop, clearly updates and maintenance are necessities on buildings as old as the Glenbard high schools. We recommend voting yes.

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