District 94 voters approve high school repairs, improvements

  • West Chicago High School District 94 received permission from voters to borrow $37.5 million to renovate its high school and add classrooms.

    West Chicago High School District 94 received permission from voters to borrow $37.5 million to renovate its high school and add classrooms. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/4/2017 10:20 PM

Voters in West Chicago High School District 94 have approved a plan for the district to borrow $37.5 million to renovate its high school and add classrooms.

With all 38 precincts reporting Tuesday, nearly 60 percent of the voters supported the measure while about 40 percent opposed it, unofficial vote totals show. A total of 3,942 ballots were counted.

 

School district officials said there is a significant amount of infrastructure in the high school that needs to be addressed. The district also wants space to expand opportunities for students to get trade and vocational training.

Superintendent Doug Domeracki said the results of Tuesday's election demonstrate the strong community support that exists in the district.

"The board of education has been a good steward of the community's resources and has made decisions in the best interest of our students," he said. "These funds will enable our board to continue their work to provide 21st century educational experiences for our students today, tomorrow and in the future."

Because the district is paying off old debt, it's possible for it to borrow the $37.5 million without raising the tax rate.

The district plans to use $20.5 million to replace mechanical systems, $8.4 million to renovate existing spaces, and $8.6 million to increase instructional space.

The list of mechanical systems that will be replaced include air conditioning, boilers, water piping and roofing work above the library, pool area and field house.

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Renovation work will include renovating the school's library, resurfacing a track, reconstructing a tennis court and replacing turf on the football field.

The $8.6 million for instructional space will be used for constructing a second floor on the high school's 1999 addition. That wing was designed to accommodate a second level.

Before deciding to put the question on the ballot, the school board conducted phone and internet surveys to determine interest in renovations to the high school. Two community forums also were held to gather input from parents and residents.

The high school serves about 2,000 students from West Chicago, Carol Stream and Winfield.

If the ballot question had been rejected, the property taxes homeowners pay to the district would have decreased about $94 per $100,000 of a home's value.

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