District 220 looking to strike agreements with architect, construction manager for building projects
Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proceeding with an effort to hire an architect and construction manager for $147 million in building projects approved by voters last month.
Plans call for safety and security upgrades at all District 220 schools. In addition, the work will include a new physical education and wellness center at Barrington High School, additional classrooms at the district's two middle schools, and new classroom space at all elementary buildings for science, technology, engineering and mathematics classes, as well as students with special needs.
District 220 board members Tuesday night gave a thumbs-up to administrators to continue working toward finalizing agreements with Chicago-based architecture firm DLR Group and Pepper Construction in Barrington.
Superintendent Brian Harris said he and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein have met with Dennis Bane, national business development leader for K-12 education at DLR, and Lance Tritsch, a Pepper vice president whose specialties include school projects,
"They did a wonderful job meeting with Dave and I, working through some of the tough questions and details," Harris said.
Board members also agreed Bein can continue to pursue financing for the building projects. District 220 will obtain $147 million in loans through bond sales to investors, likely over three years, Bein said.
Robert Lewis, senior vice president and managing director of PMA Financial Network, said interest rates were at all-time lows before shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic started last month. He said rates have risen in a turbulent market, but there is potential for stabilization in June and July when investors typically receive six-month interest payouts from municipal bonds and then look to reinvest in something similar.
Bein said market conditions will be assessed over the next couple months. He said the district can delay seeking the financing to September if interest rates don't appear favorable.
With District 220 expecting to pay off some debt in 2021, the owner of a home valued at $500,000 will receive a decrease of about $75 a year, compared with the 2019 property tax bill.