On November 8, 2016 voters in the LaSalle-Peru Township High School District 120 community approved a ballot referendum to make important improvements to our community’s historic high school. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions about the project. As the project progresses we will use this section of the LP website to keep community members informed of what is happening and how district funds are being used. Below is information shared with community members regarding the proposed project in advance of the referendum vote.
The building improvements would provide many benefits to students and our community, including better preparing students for college and workforce, improving safety and security, saving taxpayer dollars by improving energy efficiency and reducing costly emergency repairs, and extending the life of the high school building.
The original plan being considered by the Board of Education defined about $95 million in building improvement needs at the high school. However, the Board of Education felt the scope of the proposal was too large and too costly, and downsized the proposal by $28 million. A new citizens task force of volunteer community members will be meeting over the next few months to review the facility plan and to ultimately make a recommendation to the Board of Education. Community input during these months will be incredibly important as the Board of Education prepares to make a decision regarding the bond measure. On July 20, 2016, the Citizens Task Force recommended the board pursue a further downsized $38 million plan that focuses on repairs and renovations versus creating new instructional space.
The downsized plan calls for the following improvements to LaSalle-Peru Township High School:
• Replace an outdated, energy-inefficient HVAC system.
• Improve accessibility for students, staff and visitors with disabilities, both at the main entrances of the school and within the building.
• Make strategic corridor improvements that will ease congestion, shorten the time it takes for students to get between classes, and free up space for breakout areas and other learning spaces.
• Address critical life safety and security improvements, including removal of asbestos insulation and tiles, addition of fire sprinklers throughout the building and upgraded security entrances.
• Renovate outdated classrooms, providing larger, more flexible learning spaces that can better utilize existing and emerging instructional technology and adaptable classroom furniture, as well as improvements to the historic auditorium, stage and backstage area.
• Improve energy efficiency—and save taxpayer dollars—by replacing outdated windows and roofing.
The District is committed to preserving the high school’s historic architecture, including the clock tower, auditorium, stained glass windows and other important features of the building. This includes ensuring the new STEM addition mimics the original 1927 architecture.
If the $38 million bond issue is approved through a community vote, the estimated property tax on a home with an actual value of $100,000 is expected to increase by $11.60 per month.
Nothing is set in stone at this time. Your input will make a difference in how the District moves forward with the proposed high school improvements. The Board of Education will make a decision regarding placing a tax measure on the November 2016 ballot this summer. This will provide time to review additional public input gathered as part of upcoming community information meetings, a public opinion survey mailed to district residents, and recommendations from a 30-member citizen task force.
If you would like to discuss the proposal in person, or would like a representative of the District to make a presentation to a civic, business or other organization with which you are a member, please contact Steven Wrobleski at (815) 223-2373 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The below documents/video refer to previous versions of the Facility Master Plan. The voter approved $38 million will address the repairs and improvements to the existing facility but would not include the additions featured in the previous version of the plan.
The downsized LPHS Facility Master Plan Proposal would greatly change the layout of LP's campus while still preserving the building's historic architecture. These architects' renderings and floor plans show the proposed changes to campus. The proposed bond measure would provide funding for major improvements to the learning environment throughout all academic spaces within LaSalle-Peru Township High School. The learning environment would be improved by increasing classroom sizes, enhancing available educational technology and furnishings, and providing an efficient heating and cooling system. The proposal also calls for improving energy efficiency and extending the useful life of the building by replacing outdated windows, repairing the roof, and providing necessary tuck-pointing to the masonry.
Preliminary elevation of proposed academic addition, corridor connection and new Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) wing viewed from the south side of the LaSalle-Peru Township High School campus.
The classroom space currently provided to our growing band and choir programs is outdated and in need of considerable renovations. More importantly, the band room is not accessible for students with disabilities. These programs would be moved to larger, better suited spaces that are fully accessible and still provide adequate access to outdoor practice areas. The aging first floor locker rooms and weight room would also be renovated. Students and faculty would be able to access the enclosed courtyard areas for outdoor learning opportunities. (Refer to legend for proposed location of first floor classrooms.)
On the main floor there would be three notable changes, along with the addition of the new STEM wing on the southeast corner of the campus. The auditorium stage would be extended, allowing for larger-scale productions than are currently not feasible. It would also create space for backstage dressing rooms and storage. Additionally, the extension of the middle wing of the building would create an academic resource center which would house specialized tutoring and academic support spaces. The current two cafeterias would also be remodeled, creating a single, larger cafetorium space that would be used for regular cafeteria use as well as smaller productions and performances. (Refer to legend for proposed location of second floor classrooms.)
With the Science Division moving into the new STEM addition, the Family & Consumer Sciences Division would be relocated to the current science lab spaces along the Sellett Gym balcony. This would allow the art program to move into larger classroom spaces in the third floor, where there would be better space, lighting and gallery spaces. (Refer to legend for proposed location of specific third floor classrooms.)
The Community Engagement Team
A group of community members, school district employees, and students worked together in 2015 to develop the original LPHS Facility Master Plan. This short video describes the process of creating the plan.