Glenbard District 87 seeks money to improve high schools

Voters in Glenbard High School District 87 are being asked to approve paying more in property taxes to fund various building projects at the district’s four high schools.

The district is seeking voter approval to borrow $183 million to put toward a $312 million building program to update its high schools, which range from 51 to 100 years old. Improvements would be covered by the $183 million the district seeks approval to borrow and $129 million from the district’s operating budget over the next 10 years.

“These are large signature buildings that serve the community,” District 87 Superintendent David Larson said. “Our students are the number one asset in our community.”

Proposed improvements vary by high school, but generally include renovations to entryways, upgrading science labs and classrooms, renovations to cafeterias to ease crowding, relocating common areas to make access to student support services, social workers and counselors easier for students, adding windows to bring in more natural light and replacing flooring and lighting where needed.

If approved, the owner of a home valued at $300,000 would pay about $178 in additional property taxes to the school district. The district would issue the bonds in at least two phases, said Seth Chapman, District 87 assistant superintendent for finances and operations. He said the staggered approach would allow the district to borrow funds as needed.

He added the bonds would expire 20 years after the district takes out the loans. The district would not be able to secure new bonds after the old bonds expire without voter approval, Chapman said.

Voters last approved a referendum in 2014. At that time, voters backed a $35 million borrowing request for a science addition at Glenbard West and various improvements districtwide, including renovations to classrooms, science labs, locker rooms and restrooms; upgrading mechanical and computer systems, improving the electrical power distribution system, roofing replacements and improvements to the visitor entrances.

District 87 serves nearly 8,000 students in Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Carol Stream, and Lombard, along with parts of Hanover Park, Bloomingdale, Addison, Downers Grove and Wheaton.

The district has four high schools: Glenbard South in Glen Ellyn, Glenbard North in Carol Stream, Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn and Glenbard East in Lombard.

Additional information about the District 87 referendum can be found on the district’s website at

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