Home News What Comes Next for Avoca District 37 Following a Failed Referendum?

What Comes Next for Avoca District 37 Following a Failed Referendum?

What Comes Next for Avoca District 37 Following a Failed Referendum?

Avoca School District 37 is hoping to get on the identical page with the community within the wake of a referendum failure in March.

Greater than 75 percent of Avoca voters — or 1,559 of two,105 votes — opposed the district taking up $89.8 million in debt to fund a brand new grammar school, in accordance with results from the Cook County Clerk’s Office.

The district now plans to take a step back and collect more and more-detailed feedback from its residents, said Superintendent Dr. Kaine Osborn.

“A very powerful next move is to work out the way to re-engage with the community in regards to the needs of the college,” he said. ” … We have now a vote for a reason and the community indicated it couldn’t support the proposal the board put forth within the referendum. The board and administration will develop a plan to re-engage and make sure that people understand about what the choices are before looking for one other referendum in the longer term.”

Osborn said “everyone agrees” that improvements are vital within the district’s two schools: Avoca West elementary and Marie Murphy junior high. Avoca West is 65 years old and has seen six additions in those years, making the constructing disruptive to modern learning, officials have said. The district also says each schools need security upgrades.

The district announced its intentions to move forward with significant facility improvements in May 2023, and following conversations with the community, officials beneficial a referendum for a brand new elementary school — considered one of three options into account. Another choice was to make $55 million value of security and other substantial upgrades at Avoca West and Marie Murphy, while the most costly option was to construct a brand new districtwide school (preK-8) at a value of well over $100 million.

If the referendum passed, district residents with a $350,000 home would have seen an annual increase of roughly $1,100 on their property-tax bill, in accordance with district estimates.

Within the election, Avoca participation (41.86%) far outpaced county participation (12.81%), results show, signaling an elevated interest in the difficulty.

The brand new-school referendum drew opposition from a gaggle of Avoca parents organized as Concerned Residents of Avoca 37 and Vote No Save Avoca. The group campaigned at board meetings and garnered media attention with their criticisms of the necessity for a brand new school and the potential closure of Avoca West in Glenview.

To seek out a proposal that satisfies the community, Osborn said the district must connect with all potential voters, but especially those that voted against the referendum.

“Voting on March 19 was clarifying,” he said. “Now we all know what people should not for and it’s about getting all the way down to brass tacks to seek out (a plan) that folks will support.”

Osborn didn’t confirm one other referendum is coming; nevertheless, he said Avoca 37 doesn’t have a fund for capital projects and any significant investment in the faculties would should be put to district voters.

Osborn said the modest size of the district amplifies the importance of its general reserve funds, which could be needed in emergency situations or to cover gaps in revenue realization.

The Avoca School Board will discuss its next steps in pursuing districtwide upgrades during its April 4 and 18 board meetings.

“Everyone agrees something must be done, but we really want to undergo community engagement process to seek out a referendum that cannot only be supported but for a way much and what items,” Osborn said. “We wouldn’t wish to get ahead of that.”

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