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updated: 9/22/2017 6:09 PM

Lake Zurich District 95 wants community input on building improvements

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  • Lake Zurich Unit District 95 completed this project to improve the safety of the entrance to Lake Zurich High School this summer. Depending on the feedback it gets from the community, the district might do more facility renovation projects in coming years.

      Lake Zurich Unit District 95 completed this project to improve the safety of the entrance to Lake Zurich High School this summer. Depending on the feedback it gets from the community, the district might do more facility renovation projects in coming years.
    Doug T. Graham | Staff Photographer

 
 

During Lake Zurich Unit District 95's community engagement sessions last year, one message officials heard frequently was facility improvement should be a high priority going forward.

So this year's sessions will be all about what the district can do to maintain and, in some places, improve its buildings.

Jean Malek, District 95's director of communications and planning, said the improvements being discussed will come in two categories -- maintenance projects and capital improvements.

"Some of them are shiny new things. Some are very mundane, like replacing roofs and plumbing," Malek said.

Some of the new projects the district would like community feedback on include modern classroom renovations and new labs dedicated to STEAM education subjects. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Another improvement to consider is air conditioning, a relevant issue this week during unseasonably high temperatures, Malek said.

"We have five buildings that are not air-conditioned and it's really brutal and tough on our kids," she said.

The district will provide more specifics about the projects being considered and how much they might cost in a presentation at Tuesday night's school board meeting. It is at 7 p.m. at the Lake Zurich High School library.

How the district pays for these improvements is another topic on which officials are seeking feedback. While officials could not provide specific numbers Friday, a sizable amount of existing debt is set to come off the books in the coming years.

Depending on what the community wants, the district could choose to reissue existing debt without raising taxes for residents. That will generate funds to complete all but the lowest priority projects over the next 4 to 6 years, according to the district.

In a district brochure about the community engagement sessions, the words "without raising taxes for our residents" are in bold font.

"It's really important that they know it is not our intention," Malek said.

This year's community sessions are: Oct. 2 at the Middle School South library; Oct. 3 at Sarah Adams Elementary; Oct. 4 at May Whitney Elementary; Oct. 5 at Lake Zurich High School; Oct. 10 at Seth Paine Elementary; and Oct. 11 at Middle School North. Each session is 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Malek said community members need only to attend one session because the presentations will be the same.

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