Mundelein High School District 120 has added another Town Hall meeting to its slate of events informing the public about its upcoming $175 million building referendum.
Besides two Town Hall meetings on Thursday nights March 8 and March 16, the District has added a Saturday morning event on March 11, allowing an opportunity for those who cannot attend a week night event. The Thursday meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and the Saturday morning meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m.
Each Town Hall meeting will include a tour of key areas of the high school and a presentation with a question/answer session.
With one month to go before April 4 when District 120 residents are to vote on the ballot question, school officials are making a final push to inform the community.
“It’s important for people to have all the facts when they vote,” said District 120 Superintendent Kevin Myers. “We want to show them the areas of need and we want to be able to answer all of their questions.”
The key priorities of the project include renovating performing arts venues, expanding athletic and recreational facilities and modernizing food service space, all common-space areas that have seen little or no improvement since the school’s opening in 1961.
The project also includes enhanced/expanded career and Technical Education spaces; expanded Transition Center spaces; larger common areas; consideration of mental health and wellness; improved building performance; and expanded parking with a ring road to ease traffic congestion. The District also plans to improve its off-site property to fill the need for more athletic and recreational facilities.
The School Board has stated that MHS currently does not have the right kind of space for its needs. While it has added classrooms over the years, many of the common area spaces are original construction elements in a building designed for 1,500 students at a time when there were 10 sanctioned boys sports and only two girls sports. Today, MHS has more than 2,200 students and offers 32 state-sanctioned sports.
The auditorium stage is undersized for the size of the theater program and the band program has 240 students in a room designed for 80 students. Limited cafeteria space leads to four lunch periods for students stretching from 10:15 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. and the food service space is past its designed life span.
Passage of the referendum would mean a tax increase for property owners inside District 120 boundaries. The tax rate increase will be phased-in during the first three years with less of an impact during the initial two years. If approved, the owner of a home with a Fair Market Value of $300,000 would see a tax increase of about $320 for the first year, a total increase of about $550 in the second year and annual increases totaling about $690 ($58/month) in the third and subsequent years.
The Town Hall meetings will be held at Mundelein High School, 1350 W. Hawley Street, Mundelein. Complete information is available at https://www.d120.org/about-mhs/mhs-facilities-plan/.