Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools have significant facility needs.
District 113 is seeking an $89 million referendum from the community to help finance substantial improvements at both high schools.
District 113 residents will vote on the referendum item on April 9th.
District 113 Upcoming Presentations on Referendum and Projects Included:
A Little Background...
District 113 began developing a Long Range Facility Master Plan for Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools in May, 2011. The goal was "to create facilities that foster educational excellence while respecting the District's taxpayers." All community members were invited to be part of the process and 100+ residents dedicated a significant amount of their time. As a result of their in depth study, community members developed in depth priorities.
The Board of Education adopted the Master Plan in December, 2012, which outlined a lengthy list of needs at both high schools. A Steering Committee -- comprised of community members with extensive architecture, construction, and finance experience -- were tasked with deciding which projects to implement now. The Steering Committee was in charge of overseeing the architect's entire design phase and made their recommendations to the Board.
What: The Steering Committee proposed projects estimated to cost $120.4 Million. The District's architecture firm Perkins+Will and the construction management firm Gilbane will reduce that cost through value engineering by approximately 5% totaling $6.4 M, which will lower the overall cost to $114 M.
Value engineering is basically an architect, construction, and engineering technique of getting something at the same quality for a cheaper price. We can use the construction of a wall as an example of value engineering. Current cost estimates for some wall structures are based on cement block with a brick exterior. By changing these materials to a metal exterior or precast wall structure, the ‘look’ may change, but you still get the same structural wall with a reduction in price. Plus, no structural integrity is lost.
To finance the $114 M project, the Board has decided to seek an $89 M bond issue, which would be repaid over a 20-25 year time frame.
The District 113 Board of Education has also decided to commit $25 million over the next five years to complete capital improvement projects associated with the referendum. Residents will not pay additional funds (taxes) to cover these costs. District 113 plans to budget $5 million/year for the next five years from a combination of District 113’s current budgets including the operational budget and capital expenditure budget. District 113 currently spends on average $3.5 million/year on capital improvements. An additional $1.5 million from operating expenses will be allocated. We do not anticipate having to use fund balances to finance referendum projects. However, they are available if need be. Taxpayers will not have to replenish District 113’s reserves.
Projects Will Include:
$47.8 M in infrastructure work at DHS and HPHS (mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, electrical, lighting, technology, security, windows and ADA)
$26.1 M for repurposing the 100 year old B building at HPHS and reconstructing the 100 year old C and C Annex buildings at HPHS
$19.6 M for new eight lane pools with diving wells at DHS and HPHS
$21.2 M for new three court multi-purpose gyms at DHS and HPHS
$3.8 M for the renovation of the library and media center at DHS
$1.9 M for security enhancement at DHS and HPHS and the ADA adaption of PE at DHS
If the community approves the $89 M referendum bond in April, to be paid off over 20 years, it is estimated to cost a homeowner with a market value of $300,000, $47 more in levy year 2013 compared to 2012 totaling $173 for bond and interest. It is estimated to cost a homeowner with a market value of $600,000, $98 more in levy year 2013 compared to 2012 totaling $358 for bond and interest.
District 113 paid off a significant amount of its debt service this year. If District 113's referendum does not pass in 2013, homeowners will see a drop in their bond and interest taxes in 2014. An estimated 2014 debt service tax bill for a homeowner with a market value of $300,000 is $173 if the referendum passes, compared to $15 if the referendum does not pass. An estimated 2014 debt service tax bill for a homeowner with a market value of $600,000 is $358 if the referendum passes, compared to $32 if the referendum does not pass.
This tax payment is actually less than what District 113 homeowners have been paying on average for the past ten years. Calculating a ten year average, a homeowner with a market value of $300,000 had paid $198 annually for District 113 bond and interest.
When: The Board of Education adopted the Steering Committee's recommendations at their Jan. 14th meeting and unanimously voted to put an $89 M referendum on the April 9, 2013 ballot. Early voting for the consolidated election begins on March 25th.
Why: Both Deerfield and Highland Park High Schools have significant facility needs. The Long Range Facility Master Plan has been adopted to address those needs in the most efficient way possible. The projects listed above have been identified as high priorities by architectural experts and community members. These improvements and renovations will not only address safety, infrastructure, technology, repair, and maintenance needs but modernize and upgrade parts of our high schools.
The majority of mechanical equipment at DHS and HPHS has been well maintained and has significantly outlasted its life expectancy. Upgrading systems will drastically enhance our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, improving air quality and addressing the severe temperature changes students’ face on a daily basis. The demolition and reconstruction of the century old C building at HPHS will help reorganize the HPHS campus and provide modern teaching spaces. Renovating the DHS library transforms the space into a new age media center making it ADA compliant complete with 21st century technologies. The addition of new pools and multi-purpose gyms at both high schools addresses a lack of space for physical education and allows us to fulfill programming needs unmet by our current pools that were built in the 1950s and 1960s.
District 113 has worked extremely hard to develop a plan that is in the best interest of our students, staff, and entire community. This investment in our District now ensures future generations of students have access to the same superior academic programs and facilities that parents and taxpayers have come to expect from District 113.