Home / November 6, 2018 Referendum – $50,000,000 for a new 5-8th Grade School

November 6, 2018 Referendum – $50,000,000 for a new 5-8th Grade School
 

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October 2, 2018 –

Minooka CCSD 201 will be hosting Referendum Information Meetings on Tuesday, October 9th and Thursday, November 1st at 5:30 PM at Minooka Intermediate School, 321 McEvilly Rd in Minooka to provide information and answer questions about the $50M School Building Referendum on the November 6, 2018 ballot. All stakeholders are invited to come and learn about our proposed new school building.

August 24, 2018 –

Pictures of high enrollments at Minooka Junior High – The screenshots below were taken from passing periods and a dismissal at Minooka Junior High School.

Summary: Our school district has a referendum question on the November 6, 2018 ballot to build a new 5-8th Grade School, and we want to make sure that accurate information is getting out to our parents and community members.

The bottom line: our enrollments have been growing for six years and Minooka Intermediate School and Minooka Junior High School now exceed their student capacity.

Since 2014, our District has seen a 13% increase in enrollment. Our schools have made small modifications each year to attempt to handle the growth, including closing labs and adapting classrooms to PE space. Adjustments to schedules at the upper levels have also mitigated the enrollment growth. At the start of the 2018-19 school year, Minooka Intermediate School has over 1,100 students and Minooka Junior High School has over 1,000 students.

In March 2017 we publicized and formed a Facilities Advisory Committee that studied enrollments, projections, current facilities and options for dealing with the need for new space. After months of work, they recommended to the Board of Education that they build a new school for grades 5-8 to open by August 2019, along with additional elementary space. After the initial referendum in March 2018 failed to gain voter approval, the Board voted to revise the question to only include the 5-8th Grade School to address the existing and immediate need.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $50,000,000 based on detailed estimates provided by Gilbane Construction. This figure is higher than the previous estimate for the 5-8 school developed for the Facilities Advisory Committee, primarily due to much higher site costs that stem from the cost of utility improvements and a projected roadway that will need to be constructed to the east of the school. The updated estimate from August 2018 and the original esitmate from July 2018 are linked below.

Gilbane 5-8 Building Estimate – July 24 2017

Gilbane 5-8 Building Estimate – Updated August 2, 2018

The new 5-8 school, which would be a replica of the Minooka Intermediate School, would begin construction immediately after the passage of the referendum at our property on Seil Rd in Shorewood.

The basic question that most people want to know is how will this affect the taxes. The plan we have in place would structure this new debt as well as restructure portions of our existing debt so that we are targeting a stable tax rate for the life of the bonds, which means that our district tax rate should not increase. This would extend portions of our existing debt out another three years past their current term, but the tax bill should only go up or down if the property value went up or down. If our property growth continues at a rate of at least 5% per year (between 7-9% the last three years), then the tax rate for debt service would not have to increase. In summary – using conservative assumptions, the plan would allow for $50,000,000 in new school construction by phasing in the new bonds and restructuring some of our existing debt without raising the tax rate.

The documents below provide more detail on the process used to develop this plan and will help our community members stay informed of the facts. If you have any questions regarding the referendum, please contact Dr. Kristopher Monn, Superintendent of Schools, kmonn@min201.org

2018 Referendum Frequently Asked Questions

The attached recommendation that was presented and approved by the Board of Education from the Facilities Advisory Committee at the November 20, 2017 Board Meeting was developed over six months by a combined group of parents, staff and administration. It contains a great amount of detail regarding the process and information used by the Committee to craft this recommendation.

November 17, 2017 Facilities Recommendation to Board of Education

The is the initial Facilities Advisory Committee Meeting Presentation that was held on April 19, 2017. It contains details on our current facilities including the number of classrooms.

April 19, 2017 Facilities Advisory Committee Meeting Presentation

This is the Current and Proposed Housing Developments Report used by the Committee from the Spring of 2017.  It lists all of the school districts subdivisions and student enrollment figures by grade levels. The list includes both finished subdivisions and subdivisions currently being developed. In areas still being developed, the remaining number of permits are shown with projected student yields. Note – enrollment projections were developed independently of this report. It was used to show where the most likely areas of future development would come from.

2017 – 2018 Subdivision Listing

The last Enrollment projections were updated with the fall 2017 student counts. A drop in kindergarten enrollments have brought down our overall elementary projections over previous models. However, forecasting future years using kindergarten registrations similar to the previous trend will cause the projections to rise. New enrollment projections are being prepared using the enrollments from the start of the 2018-19 school year, but the date for the official enrollment for the year is October 15th.

2017-2018 Enrollment Projections

The financial plan for the $50M in building bonds again targets keeping the debt service tax rate stable to its level in 2018, allowing our taxpayers to see little or no change to their tax bills from the referendum. The financial plan below shows the issuance of the $50M along with the restructuring of portions of our existing debt. The plan shows the tax rate then dropping around 2022, which would allow for the possibility of a future building referendum and still keep the rate flat. As before, this plan assumes 5% annual growth to our overall property value, which is a combination of new growth and the reassessment of existing property. Recent years have averaged between 7-9%, so this is a conservative estimate in the foreseeable future. However if the growth rate ever fell below 5% the tax rate would increase slightly just as it would decrease in each year where the growth rate exceeds 5%.

50M Referendum Bonds – Finance Structure