The Barrington 220 School District is hosting three upcoming school open houses to help inform the community about the district’s referendum question on the March 17 primary election ballot. The district is seeking voter approval to borrow $147 Million to address safety concerns, repair & update buildings and modernize Barrington schools for better learning. Early voting is open from March 2-16.
Click here for a detailed review projects & costs.
During each open house guests will be offered a short tour of the school buildings to see firsthand some of the facility needs. Here are the open houses dates & locations:
- Grove Avenue Elementary School
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 from 7-9 pm (900 S. Grove Avenue, Barrington)
- Barrington Middle School – Prairie Campus
Wednesday, March 4 from 7-9 p.m. (40 E. Dundee Road, Barrington)
- Barrington High School
Thursday, March 5 from 7-9 p.m. (616 W. Main Street, Barrington)
If voters approve the referendum, property taxes for the average district homeowner will decrease by $75 per year in referendum debt compared to what they were in 2019, dropping from $602 to $527 for a property valued at $500,000. The decrease is due to the district paying off debt from a previous capital campaign dating back to the late 1990’s.
Barrington 220 Board of Education President, Penny Kazmier says the current referendum prioritizes greater student safety and the community’s investment in its schools. “Back in the late 90’s this district had to rebuild three elementary schools. Part of this referendum is to reinvest in our buildings so they do not decline.”
Planned safety improvements include enhancing exterior building security, upgrading safety in interior classrooms and hallways, and improving traffic flow at Barrington High School. “From a safety & security standpoint, there are significant improvements needed at every building,” Kazmier says. “The mobile classrooms at both middle schools and Grove Elementary, for example, were temporary solutions. They have exceeded their lifespan and they are not optimal for student safety.”
Kazmier says voter participation is critical. “These funds are the ultimate in local control. Every dollar will stay here and be used only for Barrington 220 schools. I hope the community keeps that in mind because, in order for this to pass, people have to vote.”
Voters rejected the district’s 2019 referendum request to borrow $185 Million for facility upgrades. To reduce those costs by nearly $40 Million, school officials eliminated pieces of the previous plan including a proposed fine arts center, flexible furniture in every Barrington 220 classroom and traffic flow improvements at several schools.
According to Barrington220.org/referendum, “The time to invest in our schools is now. Our buildings continue to age and costs continue to rise. In fact, all our construction costs went up more than 5% just since last year’s referendum. If we defer these infrastructure investments any longer, we will be able to do even less with the same amount of funding, which does not meet our community’s directive of fiscal responsibility. To continue providing a 21st century education for our students while improving our property values and maintaining our thriving community, we must continue to strive for excellence.”
Find specific projects planned for Barrington High School, BMS Prairie Campus, BMS Station Campus, Arnett C. Lines Elementary, Barbara Rose Elementary, Countryside Elementary, Grove Elementary, Hough Elementary, North Barrington Elementary, Roslyn Road Elementary, Sunny Hill Elementary, the Early Learning Center and learn more at Barrington220.org/refefendum.
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.