District 116 voters OK bond issue for construction

Updated 11/4/2014 9:20 PM

Round Lake Unit District 116 on Tuesday received voter permission to borrow $29 million for a high school expansion and renovation, according to unofficial vote totals.

With all 18 precincts reporting, the unofficial totals show that 2,398 votes (approximately 60 percent) were cast in favor of the bond issue, while 1,579 votes (40 percent) were cast against it.

Last spring, voters rejected the borrowing question by an 800-657 vote. Superintendent Constance Collins said the district took a different approach this time around.

"We made sure this time to go into the community, rather than wait for them to come to us," Collins said. "We're very grateful for the support. This is keenly important for our students. It ensures they will have the space they need for 21st-century learning."

Round Lake High was built for 1,370 students, but it now houses about 2,100 teenagers, according to school figures. Students are on two daily schedules because of the space problems, officials said.

In addition, the school now has 12 portable classrooms serving 20 percent of the pupils at any given time. Superintendent Collins has said the cramped conditions are even affecting how physical education classes are delivered.

Under the proposal, the high school will construct 30 new classrooms, including four laboratories for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Plans also call for a new gymnasium to meet state physical education requirements, new student commons areas, improved building flow and upgraded technology and security.

Construction is expected to start in spring or fall 2015.

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