Arlington Hts. Dist. 25 intends to borrow up to $18M for school additions

  • Ivy Hill Elementary School in Arlington Heights would benefit from improvements after Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 issues bonds to finance them.

      Ivy Hill Elementary School in Arlington Heights would benefit from improvements after Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 issues bonds to finance them. George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted5/1/2015 5:30 AM

The Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 board on Thursday approved issuing up to $18 million in working cash bonds to build additions onto several of its schools.

Previous discussions have included an estimate of $12 million for the cost of expansions to Ivy Hill and Olive-Mary Stitt elementary schools, but Superintendent Lori Bein said the new amount could also pay for projects at Westgate and Windsor schools, which officials said are also experiencing overcrowding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Under preliminary design plans, both Olive and Ivy Hill would get new, larger gymnasiums, expansions of common space and additional restrooms. Ivy Hill would get a two-story addition with 10 new classrooms, and Olive would get five new classrooms on one story.

Architectural estimates value the cost of the project at more than $14 million, but Bein said the district is committed to staying within the $12 million amount that was previously discussed.

The district plans to issue $9.5 million in bonds later this year on a seven-year payback plan, and the rest of the money could be bonded at any time in the next three years.

The additional $6 million that District 25 will be able to bond out for would go to fund smaller-scale expansions at Westgate and Windsor, she said. The district is still working out the details of those expansions.

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The full $18 million bond issue would cost owners of a $400,000 home $1,282 in additional taxes over the seven-year life of the loans, according to district documents.

By going through the approval process for issuing bonds for both projects at once, Bein said the district will save money on fees.

The district will still need to publish notice of its intent to issue bonds in the newspaper and hold a public hearing before borrowing the money.

"It's fortunate that this is the third time we are going out for financing in the time I've been on the board and we have historically low interest rates," said board member Diana Chrissis.

Bein said that it a combination of good timing and the district's strong bond rating.

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