Glenbard Dist. 87’s $183 million request approved by 404 votes

Voters in Glenbard High School District 87 have approved a $183 million borrowing plan by a 404-vote margin, according to the final tally released by DuPage County election officials.

The county clerk’s office has officially certified that the district’s ballot measure received 12,491 “yes” votes, or 50.82% of the total, compared to 12,087 against.

The district will be able to borrow $183 million by issuing bonds as part of a $312 million plan for building repairs and improvements in all four Glenbard high schools. Officials plan to fund the remaining $129 million out of the district’s operating budget over the next 10 years.

“Voters’ support of the March 19 referendum allows us to address facility needs at each of our four high schools,” Superintendent David Larson said in a written statement Wednesday. “We look forward to upgrading safety and security; improving classrooms; repairing and renovating building infrastructure items; and eliminating overcrowded conditions.”

The school board anticipates issuing bonds in spring 2025 for approximately 50% of the $183 million approved by voters, Larson said. The remaining funds will not be needed until 2027.

The approach allows the district to be most efficient with taxpayer dollars, Larson wrote in a letter to families. Administrators will work with bond counsel and will monitor market conditions to ensure the district receives competitive interest rates and receives bond proceeds in time for when construction takes place, Larson wrote.

The overall plan is expected to cost the owner of a home valued at $300,000 about $178 in additional property taxes to the school district. The impact on taxpayers is such that the $178 average increase would not occur at once initially, officials have said.

Larson said a limited number of referendum projects would start in the summer of 2025 because the district is in the process of completing bid specifications, which must be finalized by late this summer. The bulk of the projects would occur during the summer months. The next step is prioritizing as many projects as possible for summer 2026.

Due to long lead times for materials, demand for quality contractors and timing necessary for design work, the district’s capital improvement plan cycle has been moved up over the past few years, Larson noted.

Planned projects vary by high school based on the building age and condition.

But generally, the district intends to upgrade science labs; renovate cafeteria space to ease overcrowding; replace roofing, windows and other building infrastructure; and improve entrance security. The district also aims to relocate common areas to increase student access to support services such as social workers and counselors.

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