3 Public Sessions Planned Before $185 Million Barrington 220 Referendum Vote

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Raising Hands for Participation,Vote,

The Barrington 220 Board of Education is on a mission to share all about the $185 million dollar school district referendum question on the April 2nd general election ballot. After considerable community input, board leaders outlined four key priorities for the future our schools. Voter approval is required for additional property tax dollars to cover the $185 million price tag. The Board of Education is hosting three upcoming information sessions where you can learn more and ask questions prior to the April vote.

Here are the dates, times and locations for all three community meetings:

  • Saturday, Feb. 23
    9:00 a.m. at Barrington High School (616 West Main Street, Barrington)
  • Monday, March 4
    9:30 a.m. at Barrington Middle School – Prairie Campus (40 East Dundee Road, Barrington)
  • Wednesday, March 6
    7:00 p.m. at Barrington Middle School –Station Campus (215 South Eastern Avenue, Barrington)

The Barrington 220 Board of Education adopted a resolution to place this referendum question on the ballot after identifying these goals for the future of Barrington schools:

  • Improving Safety and Security at our Schools
  • Updating Classrooms to Prepare Students for Success
  • Maintaining the Community’s Investment in our School Buildings
  • Updating Educational/Community Spaces for Arts and Athletics

In general, the funds would be used to:

  • Improve safety and security at all Barrington 220 schools
  • Eliminate mobile classrooms at BMS-Station, BMS-Prairie and Grove Avenue Elementary
  • Repair and renovate aging building conditions such as heating, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing and roofs
  • Update and improve classrooms in all schools by creating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) spaces, adding flexible furniture
  • Expand parking lots to improve safety and traffic flow at school pick-up/drop-off zones
  • Create classroom space at all elementary schools to support students with special needs and students who require movement/sensory breaks throughout the school day
  • Build a new 800 seat fine arts center/auditorium at Barrington High School
  • Improve PE/athletic facilities at Barrington High School
  • Renovate kitchen space at all schools
  • Renovate Student Services spaces (counseling, attendance, health services, dean’s office) at Barrington High School

The referendum question will appear on the April 2, 2019 ballot exactly like this: 

“Shall the Board of Education of Barrington Community Unit School District Number 220, Lake, Cook, Kane and McHenry Counties, Illinois, build and equip additions to and alter, repair and equip existing buildings, including but not limited to renovating instructional spaces, restrooms and food service areas, installing school safety and security improvements, replacing roofs and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and constructing additions to eliminate mobile classrooms, improve school sites and issue bonds of said School District to the amount of $185,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs thereof?”

All community members are encouraged to attend the upcoming information sessions and ask questions. The agenda at all meetings includes a short presentation followed by Q&A.

Here’s what you can do now to prepare:

Review the Referendum 
You’ll find a wealth of information in advance by visiting Barrington220.org/referendum, including details about the tax impact, specific school plans and answers to frequently asked questions. Those FAQ’s include what improvements are needed in our school buildings, what projects are supported by the referendum, how much money the school district has in reserves and why the board believes placing this referendum on the ballot is essential to funding school improvements.

Consider the Costs
With a successful referendum, the owner of a $500,000 home would pay approximately an additional $100/year in property taxes. This amounts to less than $2/week, or 27 cents/day. (Estimates according to PMA Securities, Inc.)

If the referendum does not pass, debt from prior referendums will get paid off over the next several years and result in a decline in the school district tax levy. That debt represents approximately 9.6% of the current total school district levy. Overall there would be a reduction in taxes paid to the district, assuming stable EAV (Equalized Assessed Value).

Consider the Process
The four Barrington 220 priorities at the heart of this referendum are the end result of Blueprint 220, a collaborative process of gathering input from district stakeholders about priorities for the future of our schools. The Board of Education held more than 20 community meetings in 2017 and 2018 to gather information. They closely considered feedback from a Blueprint 220 Core Team made up of school administrators, teachers, parents and community members. From that collaborative process, a $500-million master plan was created, which identifies a variety of Barrington 220’s needs over the next 20 years. In the fall of 2018, the board surveyed the community and narrowed those district needs down to the most critical, which are the focus of April’s referendum.

Weigh What’s at Stake
If the community does not support the referendum in April, Barrington 220 leaders say the district’s immediate facility needs will not be addressed. The Board of Education would have to decide whether or not to put another referendum question on a future ballot. The next opportunity to put a referendum question on the ballot is the March 2020 presidential primary election.

In this month’s episode of “220 in less than 2“, Barrington 220 Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brian Harris provides an overview of the $185 million referendum goals and encourages all to attend the upcoming community information sessions.

Formed in 1973, Barrington Community Unit School District 220 educates over 9,000 students at one high school, two middle schools (grades 6-8), eight elementary schools, and one early childhood center. District 220 encompasses 72 square miles in 4 counties and covers 12 villages: all of Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes; and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Fox River Grove, Port Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, North Barrington, and South Barrington. Learn more at Barrington220.org.

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