District 207 proposes $247.8 million budget that continues funding of campus upgrades

  • Workers renovate the cafeteria inside Maine West High School in Des Plaines on Thursday. The work is part of a $240.7 million infrastructure plan approved by voters in 2018.

    Workers renovate the cafeteria inside Maine West High School in Des Plaines on Thursday. The work is part of a $240.7 million infrastructure plan approved by voters in 2018. Courtesy of District 207

  • Crews renovate the cafeteria inside Maine West High School in Des Plaines earlier this summer. The work is part of a $240.7 million infrastructure plan approved by voters in 2018.

    Crews renovate the cafeteria inside Maine West High School in Des Plaines earlier this summer. The work is part of a $240.7 million infrastructure plan approved by voters in 2018. Courtesy of District 207

  • The bus concourse at Maine West High School in Des Plaines is being renovated to create a safer hallway for students passing between two sections of the school.

    The bus concourse at Maine West High School in Des Plaines is being renovated to create a safer hallway for students passing between two sections of the school. Courtesy of District 207

 
 
Updated 7/22/2021 7:49 PM

Maine Township High School District 207's proposed $247.8 million budget for the new fiscal year would continue to fund massive construction projects at all three campuses.

The spending plan, which awaits approval by the school board, is about 2% greater than the roughly $242.2 million plan for the previous fiscal year, which ended June 30.

 

Revenue to fund operations, projects and purchases at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Maine East High in Park Ridge and Maine South High in Park Ridge is going up, too.

Officials expect to collect about $257 million in taxes, fees and other income this fiscal year. That includes the final loans for the construction effort, which will total $65 million this year, District 207 spokesman Brett Clark said.

The proposed revenue total is about 45% greater than the 2021 fiscal year's total of more than $177 million.

Although personnel costs make up a big part of any governmental budget, the ongoing construction work at the three District 207 campuses is a monumental undertaking -- both physically and financially.

The $240.7 million plan was approved by voters in 2018. Infrastructure improvements, safety and security enhancements, classroom upgrades and other improvements are being made. Construction started last year and is expected to be complete in 2023.

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This summer, the cafeteria at Maine West is being rebuilt to create a two-level space that will include a commons area for students.

Also at Maine West, a bus concourse is being renovated to create a safer and more effective hallway for students passing between two sections of the school, Clark said.

At Maine East, a center court area is being created. At Maine South, a student union and the library are under construction.

Photos and updates can be found online at maine207.org/construction, and videos of the work are available at bit.ly/207constructionvideos.

To fund the construction, the district is borrowing $195 million and using more than $45 million from its reserves. Property tax rates increased to repay the loans.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Aug. 2. The school board is expected to approve the plan Sept. 7. The complete proposed budget can be found online at maine207.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Budget-2021-2022-Tentative-Annual-Budget-w_page.pdf.

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