Recognizing our communities’ tradition of thoughtful
preparation for the next generation of students, this comprehensive
plan has been several years in the making. With a clear focus
on educational excellence and fiscally
responsible, long-range planning, the Board recommends
the expansion and renovation of its school buildings to:
The comprehensive plan addresses these major areas of concern:
This plan will make LFHS competitive with other high-performing high schools by providing up-to-date educational resources including science, technology, foreign language, music, wellness, security, and infrastructure renovations. Technology has brought new demands to our buildings that were impossible to anticipate during our last major construction and renovation (1990). Significant changes have also occurred in how classes are taught and how space is used. Other area high schools have already addressed these needs to make their students competitive in today's world. The plan also addresses the need for additional classrooms to meet projected enrollment growth and program changes, upgraded and expanded common spaces for students, and safety and security concerns.
Renovations and additions to LFHS East Campus include:
Thanks to a community that has supported educational and
building initiatives over the years (1935, 1958, 1966, and
1990), our high school is among the best in the nation. To
remain competitive we must now provide our students with
the following enhancements:
In light of today’s security concerns and requirements of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) the following improvements have been planned:
* Upgrade public safety (police and fire) building access and evacuation routes,
* Additional stairs and elevators,
* ADA compliant ramping,
*Improved hallway traffic flow and sight lines by connecting dead-end halls and corridors,
* All academic areas equipped with sprinklers,
* Improved handicapped accessibility,
*Limiting and controlling building access points, and
* Better management of neighborhood traffic for improved safety.
The high school’s last major building expansion occurred in 1992 (1990 referendum). It was designed to meet the needs of 1,400-1,500 students. The high school currently houses 1,751 students with future projections flattening out at 1,850 students. That’s a 63% increase. The proposed project is designed to accommodate this full build-out of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Knollwood, and our unincorporated areas. (back to top)
The Board of Education and a variety of committees carefully studied reopening West Campus for academic purposes, as well as numerous other options. Findings indicate dividing our high school is not prudent for both educational and financial reasons. Students would not have access to upper level classes and costlyresources must be duplicated (library, technology, cafeteria, transportation, administration, support services, etc.). Furthermore, long-range projected enrollments do not support the renovation and operation of two separate campuses.
Projected costs to reopen West Campus as a second school
This option would:
The athletic fields and gyms at West Campus are currently
and will continue to be used by both the high school and
community. Future plans include a:
It is anticipated that Lake Forest High School will enter into a long-term lease agreement with Lake Forest School District 67 at fair market value and additionally, District 67 will fund its pro-rata share of the opperating costs.
This is really a question for the Lake Bluff Board of Education, but we do know that Lake Bluff District 65 is currently analyzing a variety of options for its future facility needs including the location of its district offices.
The Lake Forest High School community has a rich tradition of providing exemplary education for its youth and thoughtful planning for the next generation. Solidly committed to maintaing this tradition of excellence in light of educational advancements and a growing student population, the Board believes that this decision is imperative to maintain our level of educational excellence and keep LFHS students competitive and is structured in a fiscally responsible manner.
This is the first time since the 1990 referendum that the District has asked the residents to consider a building bond referendum. From a financial perspective, bond and construction rates are favorable, and as the bonds from the 1990 building referendum are almost retired, the proposed debt structure allows the high school to extend debt without a projected increase to the taxpayers’ tax rate.
The project has been designed to meet the academic, security and enrollment needs while minimizing impacts to the taxpayer. This plan can be accomplished by issuing new building bonds, as the bonds from the 1990 referendum come to retirement, with no projected tax rate increase to the taxpayer. The new bonds are repaid over a twenty-year period much like the mortgage on a home. In the next four years, the projected tax rate will remain stable at .965 and after 4 years the tax rate will decline as depicted in the graph below. It should be noted however, that actual taxes paid for the high school are likely to rise, even with a stable, then declining tax rate, due to home value appreciation. Projections indicate, annually on the average over the life of the bonds, the owner of a $500,000 home will pay approximately $100 more than paid on the current bonds.
Other local high schools have spent the following amounts
on facility renovations and improvements over the past ten
The cornerstone of the Board’s recommendation was built on the reports and findings of over 30 broad-based committees, including a comprehensive community strategic planning process in 2002. The Board of Education, Operations, Finance, and Education Committees have collectively spent countless hours examining the current educational program and the state of the buildings. The high school sought input from educational professionals, hundreds of community members, and architectural construction experts as the plan unfolded.
The total tax rate for LFHS is 0.965, the lowest of 10 area high school districts. By comparison, the next lowest tax rate is New Trier at 1.577, Highland Park/Deerfield is 1.686, Stevenson 2.112, and the highest is Grayslake at 3.197. The proposed referendum would not increase Lake Forest High School’s current tax rate on your tax bill.
We listened to the community! Feedback indicated that we should work hard to meeting our operating expenses and come back with a long-range comprehensive plan for the future. The Board and administration have worked diligently to implement numerous cost-containment measures to reduce operation expenditures.
The district has designed a process to keep a close watch
on the implementation of this project.
The Board of Education is aware that this is a community
expectation and has structured an
experienced management team to supervise the project.
• Perkins & Will, Architects, a highly respected
architectural firm has designed the project and
• If the referendum is approved, the Board will appoint
citizens/construction professionals to work with
the Operations Committee to monitor the progress and review
any proposed modifications to the project.
Between 75-80% of Illinois school districts are running
budget deficits. As many communities are scrambling to fill
their budget gaps, Lake Forest High School and Lake Forest
District 67 entered into a ground-breaking Shared Services
agreement in 2004 to help address this dilemma.
The proposed plan maintains East Campus’ traditional appearance and preserves its character and Georgian architecture. The front lawn in the circle drive remains untouched. Additional parking is planned on the football practice field (located just north of the circle drive near front of the swimming pool)).
If the referendum is approved in November 2006, the construction
and renovations are planned
Our architects, Perkins and Will, have planned construction phases over a two-year period to include two summers and one school year. During the summers when classes are not in session, the construction will be accelerated, and staged to best accommodate students upon their arrival in the fall. While there will, of course be inconvenience, careful planning is in place to ensure safety and keep disruption to a minimum.
If voters do not support this referendum the district will continue to closely monitor its finances, No funds will be available to make the recommended school building improvements to be academically competitive, address safety and security needs, and meet enrollment growth.The district will continue to maintain its facilities at the minimum level in order to meet life-safety requirements. Many of the life safety and infrastructure improvements would still have to be addressed. It is projected that executed individually these projects could be more costly. The Board will need to further explore cost cutting methods that would put further pressure on the operating budget.
Watch for more detailed information (including building and floor plans), mailings and community meetings in the coming weeks.
We would also welcome invitations from your organization or group of friends and neighbors for a member of our Speakers’ Bureau to explain the proposal in detail. Thank you for taking the time to be informed about this important issue facing our community.
Yes, after more than two years of research and investigation by the Board, educational and construction professionals and community, the Board of Education voted 7-0 to place the referendum before the voters on November 7, 2006.