FPC Meeting 7/22

The next meeting of the Facilities Planning Committee will be Tuesday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the District 428 Admin building. Be there or…you know. Guessing they’ll be talking some more about the new high school projections and what they’re going to do about them.

9 thoughts on “FPC Meeting 7/22”

  1. “Guessing they’ll be talking some more about the new high school projections and what they’re going to do about them.”

    I would give a free nuisance T-shirt to whomever guesses correctly but I bet I need a permit from Donna Johnson first. That sounds like a raffle . . . .


  2. Well, it was pretty clear at the last meeting that the new projections and the changes required to meet them are considered by several vocal people on the committee to be the overriding issue at this point–which perhaps means this will be one of the most important FPC meetings for taxpayers to attend.

  3. You are correct Yinn. I along with several other concerned FPC members and I do mean pre-referendum FPC members also see the new numbers as a need to reconsider several matters.

    I know that there are some members of this community doubting the early numbers used for the referendum. I believe those numbers were as close to being correct as any number they could have possibly came up. They did try to be a bit conservative but all need to remember that there was talk of 2 new subdivisions on top of what was already going and to add in the Cortland development. This committee also have to figure in the infill of the older neighborhoods which is shown by high attendance in several different grade schools.

    Now, many are saying that they saw this economic downturn coming and prices of foods, fuels and other necessities skyrocketing. They are but no one can predict when and how long these times come around. Yes the community voted for $110million for the schools and the proposed referendum but they also along with that vote gave a confidence vote that the way the referendum was put together and presented that there was accountability with this referendum.

    It is for this that I believe that this community wants the schools for the children but they also demand that the board still be accountable for their actions. One of these actions is the final decision they make with regards in proceeding with the final plans for the schools. Remember, we knew that the plans were a concept to work off of and that they needed to be finalized depending on the needs. Well, right now, we need less space according to the newest “Hazel” numbers. The school board and the FPC have lived by her projections when drawing up the referendum and they should continue to as they approach the final planning stage.

    A projection that shows us being short almost 500 students within the 10 to 12 year projection point definitely warrants reconsideration of what we are doing. I personally feel that this downturn cycle is like no other we have seen unless you go back to the late 20’s. Housing IS NOT going to bounce back like it did in the late 70’s as much as I wish it would. These 2 subdivisions may or may not evolve but I can guarantee that DeKalb WILL NOT see 600 single family homes built for 10 consecutive years like figured in the original “Hazel” numbers. Higher fuel prices and the lack of quality high paying jobs in this area are forcing commuters to head back to the suburbs to be closer to their jobs.

    It is because of these reasons along with several others that I feel confident that we will not see the high school breaking 2,100 students in the near future and probably not for at least 14 to 15 years. This is a long time to be paying for space that we really do not need.

    I feel we need to downsize the classrooms and look at keeping the core size about the same as originally planned. If we end up into some miraculous boom in construction, this school will be designed for the purpose of adding in the needed classrooms and not need to touch the core. We as a community could even let the school approach maximum capacity and not see the overcrowding like the current high school is experiencing because the core would be the appropriate size. Class sizes could get a big bigger or an extra class hour could be added if really necesssary while the additional rooms are added.

    Saving several million today in high school construction can also save us money on interest to pay off the bond. Maybe by telling the architect that the Cortland school needs to come in at $12 million not $15 million and that the high school should come in at $82 million not $88.5 million, we could actually take care of some other much needed work in several grade schools not previously planned for in this referendum. The board has the ability to do this and must. The board did regain the trust of this community during this last referendum, yets not make this short term. Do right by this community and do what is needed and not just wanted.

  4. Well, this is off topic but some storm damage missed the news a while back:

    The brick chimney blew off the DeKalb Area Women’s Center and into the garden. They are looking for some volunteers to help do clean up. They would also appreciate it if some kind person could take a look at what is left and do an estimate on how much a repair will cost. The telephone number is: 815-758-1351 or the Center will be open on Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. for an art show.

  5. This should be a very interesting meeting. Probably the biggest one to date since the referendum passed. I’ve looked at the numbers and I still believe it is time to consider eliminating some of the classrooms and ready those areas for building at a later time. I would and could see some core changing a bit but not too much. A few square feet here and there wouldn’t hurt usuable space as much but knock down the final square foot size.

    As you know, I do encourage public participation in this matter but I do ask that tonight that the committee members have a chance to bounce this amongst ourselves first. I’m sure that the committee president, Mr. Scott Cochrane will give all a chance to speak their piece. I will make sure that there is a chance for those that wish to address the committee.

  6. I think I read someplace that the “City” may have to improve Dresser road with the construction of the new High School. My question is why does the “City” have to improve a ” Township” Road.


  7. No matter who pays it officially, in my mind it still goes on the school tab. So the $110 million price tag per the referendum INCLUDES the costs for both Dresser Road improvements and Wildflower Lane (the school district is responsible for 50% of the cost of creating this street) EVEN IF somebody else actually completes the project(s).

  8. EVEN IF should probably read ONLY IF

    Ed, I believe the City annexed the road… but a traffic study should include the County’s expansions at the Annie Glidden corner; the Park District’s plans for Dresser Road park and athletic complex; with the School District’s plans.

    And I echo Yinn’s statement on the tab… even if governmental cooperation unfolds on sharing costs of Dresser Rd improvements, ALL of those monies come from our pockets.

Leave a Reply