Nothing could be further from the truth!
Here are photos from the Internet that show what a Third World School looks like. There are hundreds more available just by searching "Third World Schools." Shame on anyone on the Facilities Committee for the fear-mongering and dramatics that they are using to try and sell the idea of building a shiny new $65 million HMS.
"The purpose of this blog is to support the education of D181 students and present facts, data and opinions related to D181 issues."
For such a long time, Hinsdale Middle school has been "the ugly sister". I have no idea why our community has singularly ignored this failing physical structure that impacts half of our middle school children. I am an "empty nester" and not a "political person", but my children attended HMS and I am aware of the educational negatives abounding in this current structure. For me, it's about giving all of our middle students the very best that our community can offer. While there may be a tax increase, it also supports our property values. It's a win/win for children and residents.
2:19 -- But can we really afford a $65 million structure? Why aren't more people willing to discuss the cost in the broader context of the District's future fiscal health and possible liabilities?
I don't know about "the broader context". I only know that we need to support our children in the now. As far as I can see, Walker, Elm, The Lane, Prospect, Monroe and CHMS have been considered and supported by our entire Community. It's what our community has always done and should now once again do. How can we say we are a truly united Community supporting all our children educationally if we don't support HMS? I am concerned about "the District's future fiscal health and possible liabilities". This is something that should be reflected upon. But, half of our middle school children's needs are being ignored. I strongly feel that we need to remedy that first. It's time. We can then move forward with all the other appropriate and timely considerations.
I hate to say it, but I fear that some in the community would still call some of these third world schools too much of a "Taj Mahal." I remember one comment a while ago saying that the only thing that would make a building inhospitable would be a fire, tornado, or earthquake. Maybe the person who said that wouldn't mind living in a third world quality house here? It'll cost far less to build and maintain.
Also, Oak, Madison, Walker, Prospect, Monroe and CHMS have all been rebuilt, or had permanent, major additions in the last 20 years. To my knowledge, HMS has not. I do not consider portables as a permanent addition.
Also, while the district has only one superintendent and one board, it does have a separate curriculum and business/operations departments. I don't see why the curriculum department can't focus on creating a great, WORKING curriculum, while the business/operations department can't focus on what to do with HMS. They can work on their own things independently, and then maybe we can have a board meeting for each department. IMO, there should be multiple board meetings a month. In my experience, a lot of (relatively) short meetings are better than a single, marathon meeting every month.
Despite all this, I will still vote "No" on the referendum. I feel that the way this has been handled was flawed.
I would rather see our tax money spent on revamping the curriculum, providing challenging coursework for our advanced learners, addressing the lack of services and education our special education students are receiving, and determining why our BOE is so blissfully unaware of what is truly happening in our schools.
A pretty, shiny, new $65 million school will doing nothing to fix the true problems in this district.
Where I come from, we call this "putting lipstick on the pig."
Those of us that see the HASTE with which the BOE and administration has "locked on" to the reconstruction of a replacement for HMS at the current site can't help but say this is NOT in the best interest of the community. The fact is the tens of millions in cost increases are due to unique negatives of the site and the preference for a more traditional facade will do NOTHING to help improve student learning.
The literal eleventh hour scramble to get this on the ballot is not the sort of climate that has garnered any significant support for the project, rather it forces one to question-WHAT IS THE HURRY?
Had the district estimates started not at $43M but something 50% greater it is likely that alternatives might have made more sense. Such sites certainly would enable the district to build far more quickly and cost efficiently while providing students and the community with a more educationally enriching facility. The opportunity to profitably redevelop prime land that would be attractive for commuters and empty nesters cannot be overlooked.
Given the huge price increase between the "competition" phase of architectural selection and the construction estimators report on the prefered design one must rely on the statements of Pepper Construction that the biggest reason for such an increase is the unreasonable rise in costs that are baked in by State of Illinois mandates to accept labor rates that have escalated far faster than elsewhere. This benefits no learners, community members or staff, only the insiders that have used their influence to warp the political landscape of Illinois for decades. Approving this referendum only benefits those craven insiders.
Right now the waves of fiscal turmoil currently besetting global financial markets and the storm surrounding the horrendous fiscal condition of Illinois suggest it would make far more sense to reject this proposal and rethink what direction is most prudent for all the stakeholders.
Hysteria that HMS will need immediate seven figure expenditures is the sort of unseemly bombast that we have seen from those in Congress. Wild proclamations of the necessity of "passing a bill to know what is in it" have made a laughing stock of political discourse. Rejecting this referendum would allow for a cooling-off period. Perhaps the construction firms might better understand that the majority of the community does not fancy being fleeced with their backs against the wall. A rejection would allow the estimators to sharpen their pencils and the design team to find more creative ways to include not the minimum must haves with a luxury facade but a learning space that will serve the current needs of the whole community on a site that is better suited to longer term consolidation.
The desperation in the tone of the supporters of the current proposal strongly suggest that what feedback they've gotten has not been positive. Given the reality of how far above original costs the proposal has grown and how much of the "Wow factor" has been eliminated for the sake of facades that will only serve the aesthetic preferences of an tiny group those negative feelings are understandable. The BOE should strive not for a shrugging bare majority but an enthusiastic and unanimous decision that all options have truly been explored and sustainable within the reality of decreasing state aid, escalating opposition to property taxes and need to fund benefits previously footed by the state.
The first group of sixth graders won't matriculate from a HMS rebuilt on this site until 2020 or beyond! That seems more a date from science fiction than the work of any responsible construction planner. Instead of futuristic features to help them go on to greater challenges, the kids stuck at this horribly hemmed-in site will still be fearing for their safety as anxious shoppers and commuters compete with parents snarled in traffic for pick-up lanes that are woefully insufficient. This is the wrong proposal, at the wrong site, at the wrong time.
Curriculum issues and coursework are totally separate from the failing issues concerning the HMS physical plant. "I don't see why the curriculum department can't focus on creating a great, WORKING curriculum, while the business/operations department can't focus on what to do with HMS."
Again, curricular issues are not part of this referendum. This is about a building that is physically failing and impacting the education of half of our students. I sincerely hope that our community can give our students the educationally appropriate physical plant that we have given to the rest of our District's children.
I completely agree with jay_wick. Read the Tribune, Bloomberg, or the Wall Street Journal. This is a terrible time for people who pay taxes to take on $65 million in bonds - both because of the financial crisis in Illinois, and, the fact that I would much rather support D86's referendum. It seems that D86's referendum has been much more transparent and thoughtfully planned. Since HCHS has their educational act together, I trust them to focus on the less important, material aspects of a school.
For those who complain that HMS is ugly, grow up. Anyone who judges a book by its cover and isn't embarrased to admit it, sounds like a very shallow, foolish person. Same for anyone who compares HMS to a 3rd world country. How much do you want to bet that NO ONE who is a Yes for HMS supporter has never been, and would never be caught dead near a 3rd world country? Thank you to the blog for posting photos of what 3rd world buildings really look like. The sad thing is, many kids in 3rd world countries have better math skills than our own children. If we want to truly make our schools better, get rid of the leadership who rushed and botched this plan. Ideally, our administrators should have been able to simultaneously fix the curriculum and present real data to support or reject a remodel, new build, or consolidation. They also should have had at least a 1 page document that included an appraisal of HMS, a map, and the prices of at least 3 potential locatuons for a new HMS. This proved to be too great of a Herculean feat for D181. Let's face it - this administration can barely walk and chew gum at the same time. Does anyone actually think they have the capacity to fix the curriculum and the structure of HMS at the same time? I think not.
I have a child who goes to HMS, but I totally side with the Clarendon Hills folks. The current plans for HMS are ridiculously high, shallow, and opaque. Until a variety of more transparent and reasonable options exist for less than $25 million (because we know the price will evolve to $35 mil) I am content to wait until the right proposal comes along. I must admit, I am very disappointed that the BOE wasted so much money on architects and surveys when they were sorely unprepared to provide vital data and facts to both the architects and the community. Chalk this up as another example of haste makes waste. At this point, a new and improved building for HMS is farther than ever from our grasp.
I also agree with Mr Wick. Not sure what some of these people are thinking. I suspect many do understand the turmoil that is roiling our markets but maybe many don't. Crash course, when central banks are forced to go negative on interest rates, something very dire is going on. Sure, bond rates should fall but the greater question that people should worry about is, what do banks know about the prospects for economic growth that everyone else is failing to grasp. They are willing to pay to keep their money safe as opposed to trying to get a return lending it out? Let that sink in, they are willing to take a negative return. Now really shouldn't be the time we opt to take on an additional 65mm in debt. Illinois is in chaos, the teachers will most certainly be looking for a raise (can't wait till they turn this school referendum around on the BOE when that time comes), D86, public pensions potentially being sent back to the districts, etc. The third world comments show the hysteria some of these people are operating under. It is humorous that some third world countries are performing quite well and they are able to do it in a grass hut without plumbing btw. A school that has been churning out kids for 40 yrs is now incapable and being compared to a third world country. Some of the comments from the pro-HMS crowd remind me of the kids in Willie Wonka, disconnected from the reality of what is going on around them.
Curricular issues and the building are not separate. Illinois is out of money. Illinois does not pay its vendors. Illinois does not its pensions. CPS is in crisis. Unions want a raise and Rahm wants to cut. Both are looking to the rest of the state. We are losing residents. Eventually, we will have to stop kicking the can down the road. And, when that happens, the state will look our little slice of paradise, and other similar places for more money. It is not IF it will happen, it is when and how. The Courts are already ordering monies to be paid even without legislative approval. Other state courts have specifically ordered more taxes. So, there is not an artificial distinction between curricular money and capital expenditures. There is only so much money. While a brand spanking new building would be great, will be be looking at the building in 2020, while we have limited funds for other matters, and regret the decision? Given that the price of the building jumped at the last minute, I have no confidence in the decision makers, as much as they have confidence in their own judgment. (Do you really think a facilities committee will decide NOT to build a fancy new building, it is almost too much to ask them to find a lesser solution?). It is clear that we can make the building functional for a fraction of this price, and wait out this period of economic uncertainty. I don't buy that you can't learn in the building, as generations of kids have learned just fine.
Also if the administration, led by Doc White, can't handle their primary role of educating our children, why would anyone think they have the ability to handle something extraordinary like a huge capital improvement project?
An observation: some folks have registered disbelief at the hyperbole of comparisons to a third world country. And these are the same folks who've been lamenting that a math curriculum that is not sufficiently challenging for their 2nd grader is ruining their child's entire educational career and chances in life, not to mention local property values (this was not a specific comment; I am generalizing). Seems to me this blog is nothing if not frequently hyperbolic. How come you get to exaggerate, but no one else gets to do the same? I'm not trying to be overly pissy to the bloggers and commenters, nor to belittle their concerns. But truly, the pot needs to be introduced to the kettle.
I don't think anyone has ever pointed to one year or their children's math curriculum and ever decided that the entire town needs to suddenly spend $65 million to correct the situation. The curriculum has been a problem y e a r after y e a r in not only math, but language arts and writing and social studies. It's all been complicated by common core, which our district has also ignored until the last minute. The stress our children hve been facing on a daily basis as a result of poor curricular problems far outweigh the stress their experience from going to school in an unattractive building. I have no problem with anyone exaggerating - it just shows they are trying to somehow catch people's attention. But I do have a problem when aesthetic needs are out above academic and social emotional needs of children, parents and teachers. A new, pretty building won't suddenly correct poor leadership in the Department of Learning. So stick that in your pot and boil it.
It's more than poor leadership in the Dept of Learning.
It's poor leadership from the top.
It starts with Dr. White. He has had more than a year and a half to do something positive for our children. What has he done besides protect his administrators, teachers and staff? Oh and try to push thru a $65 million resume-padding building.
You are forgetting that White unilaterally decided to give the names, grades, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of all our children to an unknown (at the time) political action group. That's what he's accomplished in a year and a half.
Although it's a dubious distinction, it sure is distinct.
This article outlines the many challenges of renovating older school buildings and is worth reading. HMS needs actual renovation, not ad hoc fixes of the roof etc. While the staff are doing their best to utilize the space they have, the school presents many challenges in today's educational environment.
I don't know what the answer is and I agree the process appears to have been flawed. I am equally dismayed about the state of the curriculum. We should however, be able to expect our administration to find a fiscally responsible, genuine long term solution for HMS, as well as fixing all our curricular issues. After all, there are departments specifically dedicated to both areas of need. There seem to be people with opinions on both extremes, whether it's claiming HMS is just fine the way it is, or likening it to a Third World environment. Neither of my children will benefit from a new HMS. My youngest will be going to the high school before the project would be finished. Even so, I will be giving serious consideration to whether I should vote yes. I agree with all the misgivings people have about cost and future spending cuts, but I cannot turn a blind eye to how seriously flawed the HMS building is.
Agreed, but your post points to what others are referencing: poor leadership. Renovating in Downtown Hinsdale will not be easy, cheap, or even ideal. Newly built, the population will still be too large for a middle school. CHMS Is also still too big. Let's say they want to eventually add an auditorium, too. The population there would lessen the likelihood that they could ever make it work. Wish another location for a middle school had been offered as an option. An option for adding a 3rd middle school to the district should have been researched with facts, not just opinions. The current HMS is flawed, but so is the location.
Still can't believe Dr. White and the FC still refuse to provide an appraisal for HMS. I am not a realtor, but wouldn't a simple appraisal be free? I'd love for someone to present one to the Facilities Committee at some of their upcoming referendum meetings over the next few weeks. Thanks.
The article is a very good highlight of all the issues facing D181. Certainly, each side in this debate can parse that article to support their position. "An older school can be transformed into a vibrant, lively, efficient place of learning. Projects all over the country have proven that." or "It is impossible to generalize. Community needs and sentiment, facility deficiencies and economics all play roles. Renovating can simply be the right thing to do, make the most economical sense or provide a school district with the right space given available funds."
We seem to have many who want to generalize (i.e. cost to renovate vs replace 60%, etc). For me, I think there are many things in that article to could be rationally explored. I personally do not trust a thing the facilities committee has done because it has looked like the entire and endeavor was done to justify a new school. Lets slow down, rationally look at what can be done to this space and exactly how much it will cost. If in the end the learning space is equivalent, I am not sure why anyone wouldn't want to save the 40% (26MM). Well, except for that portion that just don't like the look.
Anyway, you want the community to come together and fix HMS, then slow down and do a better job of looking at the situation. This rush to put this on the ballot, coupled with the wacky selection process, etc, makes this a 50/50 proposition at best. I caution the proHMS crowd though, if this fails because you wanted to rush it through, it will be several election cycles before it can ever come back. The economy is very dicey, putting this out with sentiment the way it is, is very risky. BTW, I do love some of the posts that speak to how great the CHMS kids have it but when they go to justify some of the lavish things at the new HMS they then say CHMS isn't good enough. This type of double speak doesn't help.
Clearly, the anger and frustration felt over curriculum issues have clouded the perception of the entire district for a vocal, misinformed minority who post regularly to this blog. Curriculum and facilities are two very separate issues; both of which have PUBLIC BOE committees that anyone can attend and have his/her voices heard at ANY TIME. I encourage all voters to USE ANY SOURCE OTHER THAN THIS ONE to truly determine what's best in regards to facilities and HMS. ALL of the questions posed in the past several months have been vetted through committee work for the past 2 1/2 years. It's sad that people feel the need to criminalize community members who HAVE done their homework and HAVE invested their personal and professional time around this issue. It's a decision that affects the learning environment of 800 of our own (our largest school in the district). Information surrounding that decision should come from credible sources NOT an anonymous blog filled with information that is just simply not true and stemming from a place of anger. For the sake of the students at HMS, our community's children, I can only hope that the taxpayers will think critically about the quality of our schools and the inequity that exists today (and has existed for 15 years).
I can't decide if the BOE reminds me of the Stepford Wives or the Wizard of Oz (if I only had a brain).
One thing I do know is that my friends and I wouldn't vote yes on the referendum if our lives depended on it.
3:30 pm needs to understand that it is so much more than the curriculum issues. Many of us could list issue after issue.
The current administration didn't have the portable classrooms for HMS here on the first day of school. Instead White's gang chose to blame a driver for not having the appropriate permits, the village of Hinsdale and people parked in parking spaces.
When White gave a political organization with which he aligns our names, addresses, email addresses and children's information, he blamed it on bad legal advice not his own lack of common sense.
White is showing his true colors. He blames everyone else for things that are his responsibility.
The administration wasted thousands of dollars on Jukes and even more on other consultants. Where is our program for advanced learners? Didn't we hire a consultant to determine what we needed to do for the advanced learners?
It is abominable the way parents who don't agree with the BOE and administration are treated.
No one can discern the facts from White's 7000 page power points. The BOE lets White and his people get away with talking in circles. Even when directed by the BOE, White simply ignores its mandates.
That's why we have a blog. At least various views are presented.
This is NOT a misinformed minority- please elaborate how we are misinformed over curriculum issues. The curriculum is the biggest issue that affects ALL the children.
Part 1: This is my first time ever posting on this blog. I have lived in this community for 16 years. All of my kids have graduated from D181 and Hinsdale Central. I consider myself to be a rational, smart and level headed homeowner. I don't live beyond my means, never have and never will. So I refuse to support (with my tax dollars) any such project. I do my homework and read everything available before I make a decision. So, I have done a lot of reading lately. From the D181 website, to the news coverage to posts and comments on this blog about HMS. And I want to state my opinion and set some things straight for 3:30.
From all of the information I have reviewed, it is clear that the facilities committee has NOT worked on the HMS project for 2 1/2 years. The HMS project was put together within the last 12 months and the time frame rapidly escalated to go to referendum starting last September after the 3 architecture firms submitted their Design Concepts in the competition. All the vetting and price changing and changes in Design A to Design G and rush to referendum has all taken place over the last 5 months, with most of the "changes" taking place since mid December. Sure the committee has "existed" for 2 1/2 years, but so what? D86 has worked on its master facilities plan for over five years and the vetting continues as its BOE and various committees work to prioritize and decide what can responsibly be presented to the community in a future referendum. They are not rushing. D181 has rushed and the result is that people are asking legitimate questions. Most of the questions I have heard from the "party" circuit"(I chuckle every time I use that phrase now) and from my neighbors and personal friends have to do with how much the building is going to cost and the yo yo of ever changing pricing for Wants and Needs that has been thrown out in the last 2 months. The yo yo has resulted in LOSS OF TRUST in the PROCESS.
Now, the heat is being applied to the committee and board members who want to forge ahead, no matter the cost, all in the name of completing the "Unfinished Business" (which is the new tag line the Vote Yes for HMS committee is using). Sure other schools were rebuilt or renovated in the last 15 years. Neither I or anyone I have spoken to is saying that a new HMS isn't the preferred course to follow. But people, including myself, are not convinced that we should simply demolish the existing building. Madison wasn't demolished, was it? It was renovated and an addition put on. A renovation option has NOT been fully vetted. I have listened to the committee meetings where there were cursory discussions at best once the 3 architecture firms said a renovation would be expensive. BUT the taxpayers are going to pay for whatever work is ultimately done, and we all deserve to see that option fully vetted. We all deserve to have our elected officials have a frank discussion about the financial future of D181. (Really, I am almost most shocked by the fact that the Finance director can't keep current on the monthly financials. How can anyone run a business that way? Why hasn't the BOE demanded timely reports? Why haven't the BOE members all demanded a discussion on the future of the district's finances if some of the state legislative proposals were to pass?)
I know, of course, that that isn't going to happen unless the referendum fails. Personally, I hope it does, because I am concerned about the financial future of the district and the State of Illinois. I am not posting this anti- current referendum position on this blog because I am angry about the apparently horrendous curriculum state of affairs which co-exists with the need to fix up HMS. I don't have kids in the district, and I don't live in the Monroe area, and I am not one of the bloggers and I am not up to speed on all of the administrative angst that others on this blog have posted about. I am a regular person, living a regular life in Hinsdale, living in a $1.2 million home. And guess what? I don't want to invest in a new school until I am absolutely sure I can believe the numbers that have been presented to me. And right now, I don't. I am tired of people on the facilities committee whining about how they are the experts and should be trusted. I am tired of them vilifying board members who have given FINANCIAL reasons for not supporting a $65 million school. I am tired of them suggesting that everyone who posts on this blog should be ignored. Who the H--- do they think they are? I learned about this blog 2 months ago from a neighbor and have been reading it ever since then. It took me a while to read all of it, and while I agree that some of it is over the top, for the most part is seems like it was created to fill a void that existed in D181. Parents had no real avenue to discuss issues, so they created one. Good for them.
So my bottom line is the facilities and finance committee ran out of time they desperately needed to make a fully informed and vetted recommendation to the board. Instead, they both ran around like chicken's with their heads cut off or like chicken little screaming the sky is falling, the sky is falling if we don't build the $65 million school. The facilities committee has, in my opinion, created the histrionics, not people who are posting on this blog. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but just because one's opinion is that they plan to vote no and then give reasons why, doesn't entitle the facilities committee to say, ignore those people. You know why? Because then you burn bridges and you destroy relationships over an issue that will be decided on Marcy 15 in a democratic fashion. If the referendum passes, we will all pay (or move). If it fails, more work will be needed to come up with a solution that the majority of voters will support. That solution will no doubt require compromise and if it comes to that, all the bashing by facilities committee members on this blog is only going to make that impossible to achieve.
So heres my suggestion. Everyone needs to take a chill pill. Express your opinions. Say how you plan to vote and why. I'd sure love to hear from more of you -- on both sides. But saying you are going to vote yes or no and the people on the other side should be ignored is immature. We can all do better, can't we?
The administration also didn't realize that many HMS students ' schedules were missing all their electives. Are they trimming staff at the school while the administrative staff keeps growing? Perhaps it was an oversight- but Mr Pena was trying to adjust schedules in the fly for kids that didn't want to show up the first day of school with an incomplete schedule.
There are now 8 portable classrooms, presumably about 20 kids per classroom. That's 160 extra kids the school was not built for. So we expanded our core classrooms with the portables, but none of the common areas got bigger - not the gym, or the cafeteria, the hallways or the toilets, nor did the student services areas and staff areas expand. If you are in the MRC (which is in a common area surrounded by classrooms) you have to cease all conversation during the passing period because you can't hear anything anyone is saying.
As a parent with kids who have passed through HMS and another yet to pass through, I have not yet made my decision but I am leaning towards a yes.
Dear 16 Year Resident:
Thanks for being a voice of reason. You make great points and a lot of sense!
Madison was renovated because there was an overwhelming desire to maintain the old facade of the building which was desirable and fit well into the neighborhood. I don't think we can say the same for HMS. It's not really a fair comparison. On district website, for Madison School:
"The existing overall site size for the school is approximately 8.2 acres.
Inclusive of the adjacent park, the overall area is approximately 16.0 acres.
ISBE recommends a site size for a school of approximately 375 students to be
8.75 acres. The existing parking lot has 72 parking stalls. This parking lot is
adequately sized to accommodate the 61 staff members plus an estimated 10
"The existing overall site size for the school is approximately 4.9 acres. The
adjacent soccer playfield located west of Washington Street is 2.1 acres. ISBE
recommends a site size for a school of approximately 800 students to be 28
acres. The existing parking lots have 74 parking stalls. The parking lots is undersized to accommodate the 121 staff members plus an estimated 15 visitors."
"The existing site size for the school is only approximately 4.1 acres. The school
site was part of an intergovernmental land swap to allow for the construction of
the school on former Park District land. The site for the adjacent Prospect
Elementary School is approximately 6.6 acres. Inclusive of the adjacent park,
the overall area is approximately 34 acres. ISBE recommends a site size for a
middle school of approximately 600 students to be 26 acres. The main parking lot for the school is located north of the school. The existing parking lot has 105 parking stalls. There is an accessory parking lot located east of the school to accommodate staff parking that cannot be housed in the main parking lots. These parking lots are adequately sized to accommodate the 99 staff members plus an estimated 10 visitors."
I think you could get widespread endorsement to move HMS from its present location from everyone except those that are pro new HMS. Every parent I know in that boundary is against moving it off that site. Maybe to get the additional acreage we could buy part of the downtown. That's a joke.
If the HMS students did a split schedule at CHMS it would allow the district to tear down the existing building right at the beginning and incur a lower cost and shorten the project time probably. They seem to be building around the old school, moving portables to allow for school operation and also accommodate for village parking. Same issue would apply to the renovation and seems to extend the timeline out even more. I'm sure people wouldn't be happy about the split schedule with their work schedules and activities. It's a tough situation. I've been looking around as I drive. I don't see wide open spaces. Is it prudent to move forward with a potential sale of the existing land without a site to move to? We would end up with one middle school potentially. They could just move more kids to CHMS to reduce the overcrowding at HMS or go to grade level centers across all of the elementary and middle schools. That means we could have kids in two different schools and they would take the bus. This was explored a few years ago and people wanted neighborhood schools which is part of the problem. That means higher taxes due to inefficiencies and also leads to unequal class sizes, resources, etc.
12:50: Obviously, you don't know me or my neighbors. If you did, you would already know many of us who feel the current location of HMS is terrible. From where are you receiving your false information? How arrogant of you to think you know EVERYONE who lives in the HMS boundary and what their opinions are. This is quite a brazen claim to make, especially since this question was NEVER asked of anyone in either the online or the telephone survey. We live north of the tracks in the area that up until 6 (?) years ago, meant that our children would go to CHMS. Untrue, outrageous generalizations like yours are what cause everyone in the community to doubt all of the information that is presented to us from the facilities committee and the district.
10:06, of course it isn't prudent to move forward with a potential sale of the existing HMS without having a new location scouted out. But the question is: WHY has no one ever scouted out ANY potential properties and provided the costs, pros and cons? Every day I drive on Ogden, I have watched the beautiful new Adventist Hospital facility go up across the street from Whole Foods. It would have been a perfect location for a new school. What about the area surrounding Robert Crown? Or land in Burr Ridge? As far as 10:06 saving that he looks around and doesn't see wide open spaces, where have you looked? Jay Wick has mentioned the old Amlings location on the south side of Ogden. There are some older homes adjacent to that area that could be purchased for tear down prices. Across the street from Amlings, there is a 70's era commercial building neighbored by old apartments. Buy those properties and tear them down. There is quite a bit of land on the north side of Ogden from Adams all the way east to Washington. Unless we all learn to think outside of the box, communicate collaboratively and, most importantly, compromise, we will never find a solution and Illinois will continue their path towards bankruptcy. When the money runs out, as it currently is, who do you think Madigan and Rauner will tax - Chicago Public School parents or D181 parents?
To me, the most obvious choice is anywhere near Adventist Academy just west of the highway and north of the baseball fields and train tracks. That large location is already zoned for a school and is adjacent to sport fields that could be utilized by the schools during the day. Already having access to open fields for PE and sports is an enormous benefit that would greatly lessen the need for acreage. Has anyone thought of offering to trade downtown HMS land to the Adventists? Since downtown HMS property is more valuable than property next to the highway and the train tracks, they would be foolish to turn it down. They might even be inspired to pay us for the property. What about the soccer fields west of the highway and south of the tracks? It too is all open land. I hear some vague reference that the land is problematic, but is it really more problematic than tearing down HMS in downtown Hinsdale? No new location will be perfect, but neither is the location of the current HMS.
I have no idea if any of these options are valid, but until someone on the facilities committee presents any evidence or facts that any other option has been investigated by a real estate professional, we will never be offered ANY new sites to move to. Until this happens, HMS will be forced to stay in the same, undesirable, unsafe location. And believe me, it won't be because my neighbors and I wanted to keep HMS in the same spot.
If the district paid Ian Jukes $50,000 for 2 days of work last year, we certainly can afford to hire a realtor.
Post a Comment