The proposal, which the board passed unanimously Wednesday, is but one step in a process that will likely lead to a referendum on the April ballot.
“We technically have 252 students who are unhoused, which the grant will be based on,” said Superintendent Mike Struna.
School officials estimate a new school will cost about $32 million. But much of the details will depend on whether the Illinois Capital Development Board approves the grant.
For now, the district has been gearing up for its campaign drive to convince voters the school is necessary.
On Tuesday, the district held a community forum to gather input on residents concerns.
Struna said most of those in attendance favored a new school, but they had specific questions regarding whether the CDB would approve a grant for $18 million in renovations instead of a new building, the projected cost to taxpayers if the grant is awarded and the referendum passes, and the difficulty of getting the question on the ballot in time.
“I can’t tell anybody right now if it’ll take 20 years, 25 years to pay it off so I didn’t want to put out a bad number on how much it will cost homeowners,” he said. “We’re going to have to do about one year’s worth of work in six months to get it on the ballot.”
There is no timeline on when the district will learn if it has been awarded the grant.
In other business:
Þ Last school year the district spent more than it brought in creating about a $211,000 deficit. That was enough to push the district into a financial profile designation of review, said auditor David Wilcoxson, of Wilcoxson and Associates, based inLa Salle.
“(The deficit is) not significant, but enough to dip you from a 4 to a 3 into the state’s review category,” he said. “All in all, (the district) is in good shape considering the economy and all of that.”
Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or email@example.com. n