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updated: 3/18/2014 9:53 PM

Voters reject Dist. 116's request to borrow for high school

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  • Voters rejected Round Lake Area Unit District 116's request to borrow $29 million for a high school expansion and renovations.

       Voters rejected Round Lake Area Unit District 116's request to borrow $29 million for a high school expansion and renovations.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

Round Lake Area Unit District 116 was rejected Tuesday in its request to borrow $29 million for high school expansion and renovation.

With all 18 precincts counted, unofficial totals showed 800 against and 657 in favor.

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Ballot wording for the $29 million borrowing request did not seek approval for a property tax increase and specified the work would be done at Round Lake High School.

Opposition to the ballot measure surfaced Monday night. That's when the Illinois branch of Americans for Prosperity, a taxpayer advocacy group, reported using a telephone bank to contact potential voters to encourage rejection of the referendum question.

Round Lake High's expansion and building upgrades would have brought the maximum capacity to 2,288 students and allowed removal of the portable classrooms, according to District 116. Part of the high school would have been demolished to accommodate the new construction.

District 116 had wanted to build 30 new classrooms, including four laboratories for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In addition, plans called for a new gymnasium to meet state physical education requirements and new student commons areas.

Officials said $3.2 million of the $29 million would have been set aside for a construction contingency fund.

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