Arlington Heights District 25 referendum for full-day kindergarten too close to call

An Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 request to raise taxes to fund full-day kindergarten and school building upgrades remained too close to call early Wednesday morning.

With 34 of 38 precincts reporting, the $75 million referendum question has 4,446 "no" votes and 4,387 "yes" votes, according to unofficial results that remained unchanged on the Cook County clerk's website after 8:30 p.m. Voter turnout was nearly 25%.

"As we continue to wait for the remaining precincts, it is impressive that we're seeing a significantly higher voter turnout in District 25 than we typically see during a primary election," Superintendent Lori Bein said late Tuesday. "I am so grateful that our community is engaging in the process."

If the ballot measure is approved, District 25 could issue up to $75 million in bonds to build 25 new kindergarten classrooms across six of the district's seven elementary schools and fund five years' worth of infrastructure projects.

The classroom additions - ranging from two at Windsor Elementary to as many as 10 at Westgate Elementary - are estimated to cost $32.2 million to $42.6 million. The five-year capital plan - which would include replacing windows, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical equipment, HVAC and boiler systems - would cost $32.9 million, officials said. Gymnasium expansions are also planned at Westgate and Dryden schools.

The measure, if approved, would cost the owner of an average $400,000 home an extra $300 in property taxes a year, or $25 a month.

The expanded kindergarten programming would be targeted to open in August 2024. Currently, the district has space only for half-day kindergarten sessions.

Tuesday's vote marked the district's first referendum since 2005.

  Hannah Ungurean, left, and her parents, Colleen and David Ungurean, all of Arlington Heights, voted Tuesday at the Westgate Elementary School gymnasium, which hosted several precincts. The gym is one of two in District 25 that would be expanded under a $75 million referendum plan. Paul Valade/
Patton Elementary School would get three new kindergarten classrooms under Arlington Heights Elementary District 25's $75 million referendum plan. Daily Herald File Photo
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