Dist. 211 moving $31 million for projects, old debt

Updated 5/9/2014 1:00 PM

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members Thursday began transferring funds to embark on an ambitious $52.6 million capital improvement plan while paying down old debt.

With the exception of absent Secretary Anna Klimkowicz, the board unanimously voted to transfer $4 million from its operations fund to its capital improvement fund on July 1.

The vote also authorized the transfer of $2.5 million from working cash for debt repayment before June 30, and $2 million more between these two funds on July 1.

The board also called for a public hearing at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, to consider further fund transfers.

The public hearing concerns a proposed June 12 vote to transfer $20 million from the educational fund and $2.5 million from the transportation fund into the operations and maintenance fund. This money would subsequently be moved to the capital projects fund as well.

Chief Operating Officer-Elect Lauren Hummel said the district has been building up reserves in these funds, and even after the transfers, it will still maintain its guideline of keeping at least half a year's operating expenses in reserve.

The transfer of funds for old debt payment brings current payments up to $28.3 million, Hummel said. The district's remaining debt amount of $16.9 million will be paid off at the end of 2017.

But board President Bill Robertson spoke to the role all the fund transfers are playing.

"As a result of excellent financial governance and thoughtful planning, the district is in an unprecedented position to draw upon reserves to fund major capital projects while still maintaining strong financial balances," he said. "Because of the quality financial management in the district, we have a remarkable opportunity to upgrade our facilities and ensure a strong instructional program in the face of future economic challenges."

Last month, board members approved $29 million to rebuild all five of the district's swimming pools.

They also approved the lease of the former Barrington Orthopedic building next to Hoffman Estates High School. It will cost about $4.5 million to renovate the building for the district's Adult Transition Program for graduates with special needs.

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