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CCSD59 Board of Education Updates Capital Improvements and Projects Plan

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In July 2019, the Community Consolidated School District 59 (CCSD59) Facilities Committee began a process to review the capital project needs of the district. As part of the process, recommendations were made by experts in HVAC, roofing, asphalt, and other construction areas as well as the CCSD59 maintenance department. These recommendations helped identify and prioritize projects among the district’s 15 schools.

The projects were then organized into the Capital Improvements and Projects Plan, which include recommended upgrades or replacements of roofs, HVAC systems, asphalt, pavement, secured entrances, PA sound systems, and automation systems at school buildings at an estimated cost of $38.1 million.

As the Capital Improvements and Projects Plan was updated, the CCSD59 Finance Committee explored funding options and discussed recommendations with the CCSD59 Board of Education throughout the fall. After reviewing several plans to complete the work, the Finance Committee recommended funding the projects through a combination of the issuance of General Obligation Limited Tax School Bonds, utilizing district fund balance reserves, and operational cost reduction strategies.

The board of education approved the issuance of General Obligation Limited Tax School Bonds not to exceed $30.65 million at the board meeting on Monday, February 10. These bonds carry an estimated annual tax increase of $34 in tax year 2019, $39 in tax year 2020, $115 for tax years 2021 through 2025, and $103 in tax year 2026 for local residents on a home valued at $250,000.

These bonds will fund the identified Health Life Safety (HLS) projects within the Capital Improvements and Projects Plan, which are intended to conserve the health, safety, and general welfare of the students, staff, and others who use public school facilities. Each district works with an architect to identify projects and submit HLS proposals to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). Projects that were identified as qualifying as HLS include replacing full and partial roofs at nine schools and HVAC systems in 13 schools.

The remaining estimated $7.45 million in projects in the Capital Improvements and Projects Plan will be funded by the district’s fund balance and operational cost reduction strategies.

The proposed projects, scheduled to be completed in two phases over the next three years, will take place at the following schools:

  • HVAC Upgrades – Funded by Bond Issuance
    • Admiral Byrd, Brentwood, Devonshire, Forest View, Friendship, Grove, Holmes, John Jay, Juliette Low, Ridge, Robert Frost, Rupley, Salt Creek
  • Roof Replacement – Funded by Bond Issuance
    • Admiral Byrd, Clearmont, Devonshire, Forest View, Grove, Holmes, John Jay, Juliette Low, Rupley
  • Building Automated System Installation – Funded by Fund Balance/Cost Reductions
    • Admiral Byrd, Devonshire
  • Asphalt and Pavement Repair – Funded by Fund Balance/Cost Reductions
    • Admiral Byrd, Clearmont, Early Learning Center, Friendship, Forest View, Grove, Holmes, John Jay, Juliette Low, Rober Frost, Rupley, Salt Creek

At the next Facilities Committee meeting, the committee will discuss the projects identified in the Capital Projects and Improvement Plan and potential solar energy savings projects that do not qualify as HLS projects. The Facilities Committee’s recommendations on these projects will be discussed at the March 9, 2020, board of education meeting. The projects include:

  • Safety entrances for three elementary schools
  • Continued implementation of PA sound system upgrades
  • Asphalt and pavement
  • Solar energy systems for seven school sites

As Community Consolidated School District 59 looks to provide the most cost-efficient methods to allow students and staff to have a safe learning and teaching environment, the Facilities and Finance Committees intend to convene over the next several months to develop long-range Capital Improvements Plans as well as discuss financial strategies to fund future capital projects.

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