Registered voters who live within District 86′s boundaries will see a bond referendum on the April 4 ballot.
The Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors approved a resolution at its Jan. 11 meeting to “submit a proposition to place a $99.5 million bond referendum on the April 4, 2023 ballot,” according to a news release from District 86 in Joliet.
If approved, the bulk of the funds would be used money will be used to replace Gompers Junior High (originally built in 1958) and Hufford Junior High School (built in 1956), District 86 said.
A brochure mailed to all registered voters in District 86′s boundaries said outside facility engineers determined replacing the two buildings is more cost-effective than “to sink more money into restoring them.”
The funds also would be used to add four classrooms and a multipurpose room at Jefferson Elementary School and for critical repairs to the other schools, such as for restroom renovations, security upgrades, and technology infrastructure, according to District 86.
District 86 said following question will appear on the April 4 ballot:
“Shall the Board of School Inspectors of Joliet School District Number 86, Will County, Illinois, alter, repair and equip existing school buildings, including but not limited to improving safety and security, replacing roofs, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems, renovating science labs, classrooms and other instructional spaces, installing certain Americans with Disabilities Act compliance measures and updating technology infrastructure; build and equip two school buildings to replace the Hufford Junior High School and Gompers Junior High School Buildings; build and equip an addition to the Jefferson Elementary School Building; improve sites; and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $99,500,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?”
The debt issuance that District 86 is considering requires voter approval, District 86 said.
“A referendum question needs 50% approval, plus one additional ‘yes’ vote to be successful,” District 86 said.
Discussions and presentations about the need for a bond referendum began last summer, District 86 said.
District 86 also hosted an informational meeting and tours at each school in December to get the community’s thoughts.
“The impact of these investments will provide high-quality, innovative, and equitable learning spaces for students, teachers, and families across our district,” Joliet Public Schools District 86 Board of School Inspectors President Erick Deshaun Dorris said in a news release from District 86. “Thankfully, we are able to borrow these funds without increasing the debt service tax rate.”