Superintendent discusses Glenbard District 87 referendum, facility needs

The winter season has unique ways of showing us what parts of our houses have flaws that need addressing. The unevenness of the driveway while shoveling snow. The leaks in the ceiling or basement after a big snowmelt. The pipes that freeze overnight.

These sorts of problems need to be fixed before the issues grow larger. In a similar vein, our four Glenbard high schools — which range in age from 51 to 101 years old — have numerous capital improvement needs.

On the March 19 election ballot, Glenbard Township High School District 87 has a referendum seeking to secure funding necessary to make crucial facility improvements.

Our 10-year facility master plan will address prioritized needs in the following areas:

Safety and security

• Upgrades are needed for safety and security systems to keep up with today’s best practices. The safety of our children must be our top priority.

Classroom and science lab improvements

• Upgrade out-of-date science labs.

• Add windows and replace lighting and flooring where needed.

• Align classroom design with current best practices in curriculum and instruction.


• When crucial infrastructure ages and becomes inefficient, operating costs increase, taking money away from instructional priorities.

• Continue to upgrade and renovate infrastructure items like roofs, windows, doors, electrical systems, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems.


• Upgrade cafeteria space to eliminate overcrowding and provide flexible learning and program spaces.

Access to student support services

• Relocation of commons areas to increase accessibility for student support services such as social workers and counselors.

Referendum summary

• On the March 19 ballot, Glenbard District 87 will ask voters to approve a $183 million bond issue to fund its new 10-year facility master plan.

• If approved, the referendum will cost the owner of a $300,000 home about $4 per week.

• Over the next 10 years, the district will fund an additional $129 million of improvements from its operating budget. This amount combined with the referendum proposal comes to a total of $312 million for facility projects.

• The proposed improvements would address facility needs in our four high school buildings — which are between 51 and 101 years old. We must make sure our educational spaces support today’s best practices in curriculum and instruction.

Be sure to vote on Tuesday, March 19, or vote early via mail-in ballot or in-person early voting. For more information about the referendum, visit

David F. Larson is superintendent of Glenbard Township High School District 87.

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