LOCKPORT, IL — At its meeting on Nov. 20, the Lockport Township High School Board of Education approved submitting a proposition of issuing school building bonds for Lockport Central campus renovations.
Voters will decide on this proposition during the March 19 primary election.
Earlier this month, a ceiling collapse at Lockport Central has caused the District to close the school temporarily to check on the status of other ceilings in the building. Lockport’s freshmen are being bused to Lincoln-Way North High School in Frankfort to attend school at that campus for the foreseeable future.
Prior to the ceiling collapse, LTHS had been discussing renovating and preserving the 100-plus-year-old building.
“As a school district, we’re constrained in that we can only have in the fund balances 2.5 times our annual budget. We’re nowhere close to that right now,” Superintendent Robert McBride said during the Nov. 20 meeting.
McBride said that the District has to go to referendum, because costs would be above the District’s debt service threshold. When costs go above that limit, the District has to ask the voters.
The District has tried referenda several times in the past, with the solution of building a new high school building in Homer Glen. Those referenda were rejected in 2006, 2007, twice in 2008, 2009 and in 2011, according to the Board agenda.
The current proposal does not focus on a new building in Homer Glen, but focuses on renovation of LTHS Central campus. The estimated cost of the proposal is $85 million.
“We tried to write a question…that reflects the conversations you’ve had as a Board, the focal points…areas you want us to focus on,” McBride said.
“I really feel that we need to get this building modernized,” Board President Ann Lopez-Caneva said.
The Board approved the submission of the proposition in a 7-0 vote.
The proposition that would be submitted to voters is:
“Shall the Board of Education of Lockport Township High School District Number 205, Will County, Illinois, alter, repair, renovate, equip and improve the site of the Lockport Township High School Central Campus, including preserving and protecting the exterior of the building, Veterans Foyer and main gym, replacing and improving HVAC and major mechanical systems, renovating and updating instructional areas and classrooms and improving accessibility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $85,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?”
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