News from CCSD15 Board of Education

August 17, 2019

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Dr. Heinz provides detailed facilities overview to Board of Education

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Laurie Heinz provided the Board of Education a review of the overall status of District 15's facilities to ensure that our Board and administrative team are operating from a shared basis of current information.

The discussion at the Aug. 14 meeting addressed the following:

  • Background and current status of District 15’s required life safety projects emanating from the 2014 Health-Life Safety Survey;
  • Enrollment projections;
  • Potential additional projects generated by the Boundaries Task Force (BTF);
  • Status of Park Place school proposal; and
  • Associated costs and preliminary financing options to complete all/some of these projects.

Background on D15 Health-Life Safety Survey:

All Illinois school districts are required to evaluate their school facilities relative to Illinois Health-Life Safety Code requirements every 10 years. The most current D15 report dates to 2014, when approximately $156 million of facility needs were identified. The facility needs are categorized into three areas:

1. Urgent (Priority “A”) items = $24.5 million (must be completed within one year)

2. Required (Priority “B”) items = $110.6 million (must be completed within five years)

3. Recommended (Priority “C”) items = $20.8 million (recommendations, but not required to complete)

All urgent Priority “A” items, and select “B” items, were completed in 2017 through issuing $27.25 million in bonds. Required priority “B” items total an estimated $106 million, and are required to be completed by District 15 by 2020.

Enrollment Projections:

D15 recently commissioned an enrollment study to determine whether enrollment will increase or decrease in future years, both in total and by grade level.

The main findings indicate that overall district-wide enrollment is expected to decline by approximately 130 students over the upcoming four-year period. Although enrollment is decreasing overall, there are four schools with a projected 5-percent or higher increase by the year 2022-23 (Plum Grove, Marion Jordan, Whiteley, Hunting Ridge).

Boundaries Task Force (BTF) Discussion:

The Boundaries Task Force, a group of volunteer community members, was commissioned in January of 2017 to mitigate capacity concerns at several schools where enrollment is increasing and to address community issues with the current boundary lines. The group presented its preliminary boundary change concepts to the Board of Education at its June meeting.

The group presented four proposals that address the communities top priorities. To view the proposals and read more about them, please visit our website.

Of the four proposals, three of them include the conversion of Thomas Jefferson Elementary into a junior high school, and two include the purchase of a vacant northeast Palatine storefront and converting it into an elementary building.

Before moving forward with any of the proposals identified, the board must first discern if Thomas Jefferson is capable of conversion into a junior high. Additionally, work must be done to outline each proposal's exact boundaries, determine busing and programming impacts and develop a plan for community engagement surrounding the plans.

Park Place School Proposal:

The concept of a school located in northeast Palatine at Rand and Dundee Roads in the Park Place shopping center was identified as an option for the Board of Education to consider in 2018.

More than 20 percent of District 15 students live in the northeast quadrant of Palatine without close access to a school facility. This building would solve that problem, while also freeing up space in other buildings to allow for full-day kindergarten district-wide.

The Park Place facility is incorporated into two of the four BTF proposals. Before the Board can decide if it would like to purchase Park Place at an estimated cost of $17.9 million, a more detailed plan regarding boundaries, educational impact and financial impact would need to be explored.

Funding Options:

The district's capital budget cannot possibly fund all needed Health-Life Safety projects, the purchase of Park Place and/or other facility projects identified by the district and BTF.

A presentation on funding options from the district's financial advisor will be provided to the Board in the fall to allow for a better understanding of overall revenue sources available to D15 and what will be possible financially.

Next Steps:

The Board decided to commission a feasibility study of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School to determine if it can be converted into a junior high school. Additional work with the BTF will wait until the study is complete so it can determine next steps.

The Board will discuss potential revenue sources needed to tackle future facilities work after hearing the in-depth financial presentation provided this fall.

Public hearing held on tentative 2019-20 budget

The Board of Education held a public hearing at its Aug. 14 meeting regarding the tentative 2019-20 budget.

The tentative budget provides for expenditures in excess of revenues of $6,458,871. The district is budgeting $7.23 million in capital projects spending next year. According to the five-year financial forecast, the district returns to revenues in excess of expenditures in the 2020-21 school year.

The budget will be formally approved by the board later this year. To review the full tentative budget presentation, visit our website.

Board approves Capital Projects Fund transfer

At its Aug. 14 meeting, the Board authorized the transfer of $7.5 million from the Operations & Maintenance Fund to the Capital Projects Fund to cover facilities work across the district.

Earlier this year, the Board authorized the spending of $7.23 million in capital projects for the 2019-20 school year. Several of the projects include roof replacements, carpet replacements, HVAC replacements and secure vestibule construction.

Total transfer from the Operations & Maintenance Fund to the Capital Projects Fund in the 2019-20 school year will be $10 million.

Follow District 15 on social media!

If you are interested in seeing daily snapshots into school and district happenings, follow us on social media! The district has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Our Board of Education meetings are also live streamed to Facebook each month. We look forward to seeing you there!
BOE Meeting August 14, 2019