DG High School District 99 Referendum – Vote Yes

By Chris Hotchkin
There will be a referendum question on the ballot on March 20 for voters to approve or disapprove a $136.6 million bond issue to fund building improvements for both Downers Grove South and Downers Grove North High Schools.
The district will be retiring current debt in 2019, which means if this referendum is approved by the voters, the owner of a home valued at $300,000 will see just a $65 increase in property taxes. 
A process taking several years led to this referendum, including a strategic plan that included direct input from 300 community members, as well as phone and mail surveys that showed residents in favor of improving the two school buildings.
Improvements at both schools will, importantly, include the enhancement of building securityby creating entry vestibules that will allow visitors to be screened by district staff before they enter the school. There also will be enhancements to accessibility at both schools and updating of science labs.
Both schools will have a “Learning Commons” that will allow easy access to all offices, and will be usable by community groups in off-school hours. Other items in the plan include an expanded auditorium at Downers Grove South, an improved cafeteria at Downers Grove North, and replacing the original gym at DG North. The expenditures will be about equal between the two schools.
The last referendum passed by District 99 was in 1998.