Frequently Asked Questions
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Why is Maine Township High School District 207 considering placing a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot?

District 207 seeks to address its highest priority capital facility needs, including improvements to all three of its high schools: Maine East, Maine West and Maine South.

How old is each high school?

Maine East, Maine West and Maine South are 89, 59 and 54 years old.

What are the core renovations that would be addressed at each of the high schools?

The primary renovations proposed for each high school include:

  • Making the high schools safer and more secure by constructing new front entrances to significantly improve security, adding fire suppression systems and eliminating the need for students to exit the building to get from one class to the next
  • Replacing outdated plumbing, electrical and mechanical systems to improve energy efficiency, reduce costly emergency repairs and extend the useful life of the existing facilities—saving taxpayer dollars
  • Improving accessibility for students, teachers, parents and visitors with disabilities
  • Creating classrooms and labs that leverage instructional technology, improve collaboration, create flexible learning spaces and better prepare students for college and the workforce
  • Relocating and expanding the dining areas to relieve overcrowding/congestion, providing sufficient room for students to each lunch
  • Creating appropriate space for special education, career and technical education and fine arts programming
  • Improving library media centers to enhance functionality and access
  • Reconfiguring facilities to improve student access to counselors and other support services

When was the last time District 207’s voters approved funding for building improvements?

District voters approved a building bond measure in 1973—nearly 45 years ago.

Would it make more sense to replace the old school buildings?

The cost to replace the high schools would be dramatically more expensive than the current plan.

What are the economic benefits of pursuing building improvements sooner rather than later?

Construction and borrowing costs continue to go up. Costly emergency repairs are also on the rise. The longer the District waits to address its highest priority capital facility needs, the more it will cost.

Has the District properly maintained its school buildings?

District 207 has been trying to address repairs and renovations. In fact, in just the past five years, $33.6 million of funds were used to address building repairs and upgrades. This included projects like replacing outdated roofing, HVAC systems, elevator master controls, fire hydrants, boilers, parking lot repaving, and concrete repairs, among others.

Are there proposed improvements that are unique to each high school?

Yes, the proposal calls for building renovations that are specific to each high school. This includes security improvements beyond the front entrance, auditorium upgrades, pool upgrades to address code requirements, among others. A list of the proposed improvements and floor plans are available on the District’s website at www.Maine207.org.

What are the benefits of the proposed facility improvements?

There are many anticipated benefits of the proposed improvements, including:

  • Making the high schools safer and more secure
  • Extending the useful life of existing facilities
  • Reducing costly emergency repairs and improving energy efficiency
  • Improving accessibility for students, teachers, parents and visitors with disabilities
  • Creating classrooms and labs that leverage instructional technology and promote collaboration
  • Improving student access to counselors and other support services
  • Providing sufficient room and time for students to eat lunch
  • Enhancing special education, CTE and fine arts programming
  • Protecting property values

Is the District allocating funds toward the building improvements?

District 207 has already invested almost $34 million in building improvements in recent years and is allocating another $45.7 million toward the current package of proposed improvements. Voters are being asked to support a $195 million bond measure as well.

What if there are cost overruns?

District 207’s reserves would also be used to cover any cost overruns.

Does the proposal ensure equity?

Yes, the proposed improvements will provide equity across all three schools.

Why not use reserves to address all of the District’s capital facility needs?

There are insufficient reserves to address all of the proposed improvements. The District must retain enough reserves to address unforeseen emergency expenditures, eliminate the need for short-term borrowing to fund day-to-day operations, and protect the District’s strong “AAA” credit rating.

What is the estimated tax impact of the proposed bond measure?

The estimated tax impact of the 20-year, $195 million bond measure is $7.59 per month per $100,000 of a home’s market value.

Residents can calculate the tax impact on their individual home by visiting: www.maine207.org/calculator/

What oversight would be in place?

All spending from a voter-approved bond measure will be publicly disclosed and project updates will be presented at community information meetings and on the District 207 website.

How has the District done its homework in defining its capital facility needs?

District 207 retained Illinois-based Wight & Company, an architecture, engineering and construction services firm, to assist in-house facilities staff in identifying and ranking the District’s capital facility needs. As part of their planning efforts, Wight & Company conducted a comprehensive survey of District 207 staff and students to further refine and rank capital facility needs. Architects met with every academic department. Administrators and staff also toured other suburban schools.

How has the community weighed in on the proposed building improvements?

A 45-member Citizen Task Force—comprised of community members, business, civic and educational leaders, parents, senior citizens, and other stakeholders—has also helped vet the proposed improvements as well as the financing options. The District also conducted public opinion research, including both a mail survey and phone poll. Community input was also gathered at community information meetings that included tours of each high school.

When will the District’s bond measure appear on the ballot?

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

Traditional early voting is from October 22 to November 5, 2018.

Early voting locations are available online at https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/early-voting-locations.

Vote Yes for Maine Township High School District 207

Paid for by Citizens Supporting Maine 207 Bond Referendum

A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website
(www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.