In May of 2016 a 35-member Citizens Task Force (CTF) representing both the Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South attendance areas was convened to examine in detail the projects identified by the Steering Committee. The CTF also reviewed the input from a community-wide mail survey and data from a scientific phone poll. After much work, the CTF presented their recommendations to the Board in July 2016.
Below the line is the text from the July 11, 2016, Board agenda.
Superintendent's Note: In addition to the Citizen Task Force Report, Jeff Huck from ARCON has updated diagrams based on the recommendations found in the report. At their request, representatives from the Task Force will be in attendance to present the report. Jeff Huck from ARCON will also be in attendance.
The Citizen Task Force met on May 4, June 1, and June 22, to review a bond referendum the Board of Education is considering to pay for proposed solutions to the District’s facilities needs. Our charge was to review the plan, the options for funding it, and the results from a mail survey and a phone poll and then to make a recommendation to the Board. This report serves as that recommendation.
The Task Force recommends the following changes to the $94 million plan:
- Reduce the size of the bond proposal to less than $90 million, and pursue a 20-year bond issue to lower the annual tax impact.
- Repair the existing pool, rather than building a new pool at Central
- Eliminate the parking and drop-off loop projects at Central.
- Scale back the fine arts projects at Central, with the focus on providing room for the band and orchestra.
- Make the request more equitable between Central and South by addressing upgrades to band, orchestra, drama and other fine arts spaces at South.
- Address pre-engineering and technology needs at both South and Central.
- Remove furniture upgrades from the proposal.
It should be noted that the Task Force recommends the following improvements remain in the plan:
- Address safety, sanitation, power, plumbing, ventilation, temperature control and ADA needs in South’s cafeteria and kitchen.
- Update the overcrowded special education spaces at both Central and South.
- Improve accessibility for students, teachers, parents, grandparents and other persons with disabilities at both Central and South.
- Update the libraries at Central and South to leverage instructional technology and modern research methods.
- Add classrooms, science labs and other instructional spaces to address overcrowding and meet instructional/programming needs at Central.
- Expand Central’s counseling area to create adequate, private space for school counselors to discuss career and college plans with students, provide academic advice, review testing results, and provide social work services.
The Task Force also recommends that a citizen oversight committee be formed to serve as a “watchdog” to monitor the expenditures, ensuring that all proceeds from the bond referendum be spent only on the improvements for which they were intended.
This brief report merely summarizes hours of lively and engaged discussion of the bond referendum the Board is considering. Representatives from the Task Force will be available at the July 11 meeting to present our recommendations and provide any information the Board needs to understand how we arrived at them.