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On Oct. 17, the Finance Committee of the District 65 School Board decided to recommend that the Board adopt a resolution of intent to issue an additional $20 million in bonds pursuant to Section 19-8 of the School Code to finance building projects and technology.

If the Board approves the resolution, the District plans to publish a notice of intent to issue $20 million in bonds to pay for building work and technology unless, within 30 days, a petition is signed by 10% of the registered voters in the District requesting a referendum on the issue.

The Building Projects

Mary Brown, chief financial officer, said the District is planning roof replacements at Haven, Lincolnwood, Oakton and Washington schools and masonry work at Haven and Oakton schools for the summer of 2012, at an estimated cost of $7.2 million.

In addition, she said the District is planning life safety and infrastructure work in the summer of 2012 including asbestos abatement and floor tile replacement at Chute, Haven and Lincoln; air handler units at Kingsley and Rhodes; unit ventilators at Orrington; air conditioning the auditoriums at Chute, Haven and Nichols; and updating automatic building controls at nine schools, at an estimated cost of $5.5 million.

In addition, the District is planning to replace the dividing door in the gym at Kingsley for about $100,000; and needs $1.5 million to fund capital technology, Dr. Brown said.

All told, the proposed capital projects for 2012 are estimated to cost $14.7 million, which includes amounts to pay the cost of issuing bonds and for in-house projects.

Sources of Funds

The District estimates it will have $1.2 million left over from the issuance of $12 million in bonds in June (after deducting $9.6 million for Lincoln School, $0.8 million for technology, $0.3 million in in-house projects, and $0.1 million for bond issuance fees.) Thus, the District will need $13.5 million to pay for the projects planned for 2012.  

Dr. Brown said that approval of the resolution of intent will allow the Board to issue up to $20 million in bonds to fund these and other similar projects in the future.

The Board is scheduled to consider the issue at its Oct. 24 meeting. 

Issuing Bonds Pursuant to Section 19-8 of the School Code

School District 65 is planning to issue the bonds  under Section 19-8 of the School Code, which states that a school district may issue bonds for the purpose of “”the payment of claims against any such district.”” Before the District may issue the bonds under this provision, Section 19-9 provides that the Board shall examine the claims, and adopt a resolution declaring that the claims were authorized and allowed for proper school purposes, setting forth and describing in detail such claims, and stating its intent to issue bonds to pay the claims.

The District must then publish a notice of its intent to issue the bonds in a newspaper of general circulation, and advise that if 10 percent of the registered voters in the District sign a petition requesting that the matter be voted upon in a referendum, then the matter will be submitted to the voters in a referendum. If no such petition is signed, the district may issue the bonds without a referendum.

Larry Gavin

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...