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Now what?

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It's back to the drawing board in Indian Prairie School District 204, now that a jury has decided the district would have to pay $31 million for 55 acres on which Matea Valley High School would be built. What's next?

Basically, it's up to the school board to decide, so why not let the members know your thoughts on the topic before they meet on Monday. Should they bite the bullet and pay for the land off 75th Street? Should they consider building it somewhere else? Or should they forget about building a third high school at all?

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Dear Folks south of east new york st, Thank you so much for funding this sweet new state of the art high school 3 blocks from my house

You guys make me laugh. Keep it up jerkies.

DB:

Apology accepted. I only returned in kind to what was given. Childish, yes.

G.P. Burdell IS a 'nom-de-plume'.

BTW, I voted against the referendum both times. I didn't refute your other points because I didn't disagree with them. The only one I disagreed with is that people wouldn't trade a slot at Neuqua for one at Waubonsie or Metea. I'd gladly send my sons to Waubonsie instead of Neuqua if it didn't mean over 45 minutes on a bus each way vs. 15 to Neuqua. (It's 30 minutes by car to WVHS and the buses take much longer, particularly in morning traffic).

agree whole heartedly with Dough Boy. Housing sales are in the crapper in certain subdivisions in Naperville because of the new school boundries. Parents do not want their kids to go to WVHS when they thought they would be attending NVHS. WVHS has too large of a gang enviornment no doubt caused by the "Aurora" factor and these parents do not want their children exposed to it.

Posted by: Ashbury Resident | October 11, 2007 11:48 AM

Can you site examples...My kid attends Waubonsie and never says anything about a "gang" element

I also live in "Aurora,"---what are you referring too?

Brad 204,

The board does not need debate. They need facts. Nothing more, nothing less. Facts are needed for good decisions to be made. Speculation and baseless claims, regardless of where they originate is only a hindrance not a help. It wastes time that can be better spent evaluating the facts that are actually known.

Think of baseless claims as static on the radio. It's noisy, but it's not worth listening to because it really says nothing.

Joe,

Yeah, I would agree the boundaries not changing is a bit of a stretch. I also agree money for the school can not be directed into other unapproved areas. It is a nice ploy though to get people to ralley around the idea :) (Those agendas don't ya know) See, I am not completely unreasonable.

But no one here knows how much the school has already been cut back to take on the new land costs and legal costs, consutling costs, etc. My guess is any money saved will need to go right back into construction costs. This is the part of the stay the course plan I never agree with you on. I think the high school will be/has been hacked to save costs. It won't be what is promised.

I think the point of the guy's post was to say Macom was coming with those facts to the meeting tonight. If you do scroll way back up there was a poster on the opposite side of the debate who mentioned all the sames facts but to the negative. And not a single person myself (or you) included refuted them.

I think the real point the poster was making was a well known fact. The board does not seem really open to open debate. And the other one. You really can not make all these decisions with out fleshing out the details. (12 days and counting)


That is an interesting read, Brad 204.

Is there anything to back up the claims that they can use construction referendum money that was authorized to build a 3rd high school in the district to pay for air conditioning in other schools even though it was not specifically authorized per the text of the referendum, or even use it for any other purpose except that explicitly granted by the vote of the taxpayers in the district back in 2006?

I am very curious about what the ongoing transportation costs would be each year for the district if no boundaries are changed. Does it really make sense to pay more to travel farther to bring the children to the farthest high school from them, even passing one two times a day to reach their destination?

Correct me if I am wrong here, but isn't Wolf's Crossing rd currently running right through the property where the school would need to be built? That road was supposed to have been moved this past summer but it is not. How long will that delay be before the district could start construction at the site? I've heard conflicting information about this piece. Someone said it will not move until Spring of 2008, some have said even later than that. Can we really afford the cost of construction delays? Wouldn't that eat into any perceived savings being claimed above?

It would be nice to believe the simple answers that have no data to back this up, but I believe we already both agreed that we don't blindly trust anything at this point.

Please explain.

I am pulling this over from another forum

This is a orignal link:
http://www.topix.com/forum/city/naperville-il/TGUSMG99RHSE27MCU



More money, less school?

At 7pm this Monday evening, the 7-member District 204 School Board will be discussing the matter of buying land for Metea Valley High School. As many of you are aware, the SB has until October 26th as a deadline to purchase the 75th and Rt.59 Brach Brodie land. A recent legal decision did not go in the favor of the district and now the cost to build on this property will be nearly 20 million dollars more, compared to what cost was planned for this site.

There is an alternative parcel of land nearby the BB site in Naperville that has been proven to be a usable site. This site is known as the 248th & 95th Street land. The school board has not heard public comment about what residents think about which site is more appropriate. There will be an opportunity to speak up, or to simply show up to listen to this issue. Here’s why it is VERY important that residents show up and give comments.

Macom, the confirmed 100% owner of the site is delivering a proposal to the board on Monday! This proposal offers equal opportunity as BB land, but here are just a few comparisons that residents should be made aware of:

Brach-Brodie is smaller
248th is larger and will give us the right Size promised. Total Price BB $37.4 MM and 248th is 20.8MM T

Issues about 248th that you will hear debunked on Monday:
ComEd Substation makes it unsafe - there's now city data that shows no danger!
The District is stuck with the current 25 acres at BB - not true!
The 248th land is 'locked' by a donation to the PD - not true!
It will take longer to build at 248th - no it won't
Boundaries will change - no they won't
What can we do with the nearly $20 million in savings by locating at 248th?
Air conditioning for all the elementary schools?
Software technology upgrades for the schools?
Ensure we do not cut corners on the school promised!

Currently the Board's path is to not discuss the specifics of the 248th land publicly. So it is imperative that residents show up Monday to demand, listen and/or speak about the difference between sites. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THAT THE ISSUE WILL BE ADDRESSED in a fair, impartial and balanced way.

Please sign in by 7pm if you wish to give comments. The location is at 780 Shoreline Drive in Aurora, at the Crouse Education Center.

What do you think?

DB,

No, it's not that no one can refute your points, it's that no one wished to talk to you further based on the way you came out of the gate. I think we figured out who on here was adding meaningful discussion and talked amongst ourselves for that very reason.

Your questions about the curriculum and other "why isn't the district doing X Y or Z" can be answered by getting involved in the district committees and local PTAs.

Your questions about fees can be found via the freedom of information act requests.

You said: "then I will complain or do something about it, "

You've done the complaining, now do the other option: get involved and do something about it.

Dear Joe, 204 a district, not A school and George P. Burdell,

To Joe, 204 a district, not A school and Mr. Burdell, I apologize for starting this off by name-calling, it was immature and lacked class on my part. I am sure you are all good people and mean will, but you are all terribly wrong and misguided.

Also, I see my comments must have hit some nerves as the three of you seem to be going out of your way to belittle me and return my name calling.

None of you has yet to get back to the points I’ve raised, in fact, you all seem to be talking amongst yourselves. I, therefore, can correctly assume that none of you can refute any of my points. So enjoy yourselves and please continue to enlighten the two other people who have read this posting.

By the way Mr. Burdell, I have known a great many conservative Republicans and, as Senator Lloyd Benson once said, “you’re no conservative Republican”.

And Mr. Burdell, I will offer one last suggestion; you should use a nom-de-plume when writing these comments, as you never know what kind of nut cases are out there. Why not try something like “Conservative Republican”.

To 204 a district, not A school, are you that naïve to think that our new superintendent didn’t know what he was getting into before he got here? And did you know that the school district where he came from (Louisville, KY, I believe) would not re-new his contract to be superintendent of schools for their district? Why didn’t they want him back?

DB,

1) I am a conservative Republican, not a liberal.
2) Tangential point? Your challenge was for anyone to take your child's place. I won't take that offer, not because Waubonsie is an inferior school, but because it triples my children's daily commute. Please try to remember what your main and tangential points are.
3) Oh, but I forget: "You have no right to argue because you got what you wanted." In your narrow little soft Pillsbury mind, the only people who have a right to complain are those who didn't win.
4) No, I didn't find the district by "shear" (sic) accident. (Not sure what cutting has to do with it -- perhaps you need to get one of your students at Neuqua to tell you the difference between sheer and shear?) We wanted to move to District 204. Neuqua or Waubonsie or Metea isn't the difference.
4) Sure, I'll take that bridge off your hands. You don't seem smart enough to actually own any property though.
5) If you hate name-calling and character assassination, why do YOU start it? I didn't call you any names in my post, but your only response to me is to name-call. You didn't challenge my point that the distance between schools does make a difference in districting. You went straight for calling me stupid.
6) If you can count this high, you're still an idiot.

As I said before, I like a good debate but this hidden agenda arguement is a tired talking point. I am not saying its not true but it can be said of anyone. This can be said of me and of you two as well.

What exactly was 204s agenda in hiring a consulting firm to create a land price no one believed? (And what was paid?) What was the agenda in passing a referendum that included those numbers and a boundary drawing process that does not seem to hold up to governmental scrutiny? What is the agenda in once again holding a meeting in executive session? (This monday). So please save me from this lame hidden agenda talking point. Again, I am not saying it is not true but just having one does not mean you are on a wrong side.

If you do not think the district and the board are not highly exposed in all this, that would be an incorrent assumption. (If either of you work for the board or district you might want to count the number freedom of information requests that have been filed. These are real people with real questions) So to say one person's comments on a web site are going to sway this decision is silly.

To dough boy -

I want to thank you for your statements as they have done more to show our new Superintendent what is really behind the 'movement' to push for MACOM or anything but BB. You have done more to enlighten him that it has nothing to do with students, or even cost - just the perceived ROI for a few people's homes. Your work is much appreciated, in setting him straight.

and Brad 204 - so you believe that someone spent $18,000 of their money to fight a decision that doesn't affect the area where they live just on principal ? C'mon you said it yourself gen x rs' don't trust others to be doing the right thing, they question it - yet you don't question this - or the fact the same person said there is no school needed , yet we should move it to MACOM in the same article? Something doesn't seem wrong with that conflict? I guess this baby boomer is questioning why the rubber doesn't seem to meet the road in that article.

Brad 204,

Do you know if the person who spent $18,000 of his own money to block the quick-take of the BrachBrodie property has any connections to any financial interests that stand to gain in the area he said a 3rd high school should go; after first saying it was not even needed?

"Spangler, who does not believe the district needs a third high school, is among the residents pushing for an alternate site and believes the Macom land would allow the district to construct the same building it planned to build on Brach-Brodie property with at least as many parking spaces and athletic fields but for a better price."

Something just did not add up in my mind with this segment of the article and I am curious if the reporter just wrote it wrong or if the possibility exists to gain more than $18,000 by having the site changed to the south part of the district. $18,000 would be a very cheap 'hedge' of one's investment, if that is what is really at the root of the money spent on lobbyists. As many have pointed out, there are many unanswered questions surrounding this whole thing including actions by 'ordinary citizens' like the one featured in the article and the school board alike.

Brad 204

Great job of adding up the numbers on Metea so far.

You forgot the $$$ spent on lobbyists hired on behalf of our school board down in Springfield.

Millions! gone! For nothing!

Where do they get money to blow away like that? Oh yeah, me and you.

Joe I will assume based on ur comments you are from an older generation. I am a genXer. It is a huge generalization so you will have to excuse me but I do not trust authority to take care of me. And yes these are elected officials. But they are not land developers by trade. So I agree we can agree to disagree.

I would like to take a momment to thank Mark Spangler for spending 18k of his own money for a lobbist to stop the quick take. Unlike me he does not just chat on a website, he made something happen.(Daily herald article from 10/12)

I did love M2's comments that he really only wanted the quick take powers as leverage over brach brodie. Nice I am so glad we could wasted legislative time trying to strip private land rights.

And for those boundary people out there the article further states that the quick take bill sponsor pulled back because she was not satisfied with how the boundary process was conducted. (you need to go to the article to get the real quote)

Brad 204,

I do not trust the board nor do I trust that things will move forward without further problems. In my work experience you have to identify problems and either avoid them, work around them or just plow right on through to the destination. I view switching sights as more work to identify more potential problems just to get where we are today with a land layout and building plan. So, I pick the last option of just plowing through to the destination to get it done and be through with it in the shortest amount of time so the kids in the district can have a high school. It will not be perfect and I don't expect it to be perfect. Nothing ever is in life. So, I focus on the goal if just being done with it finally, once and for all.

As to your questions: 1) If they have no backup plan then no, it is not acceptable. Now, that backup plan could be many things. One idea kicked around by at least one of the candidates in the last election was bringing in corporate sponsorship. If something like that could make up the difference, there we are. Whether or not anyone is thinking outside of the box to have pursued that and possibly other avenues is something that I do not have an answer to, but I certainly hope is a yes. 2) I do not feel well informed on the current decision making process, but I also understand that I was not elected to be one of the seven to do that job. There is plenty of information that I do not have that I wish I was privy to. We will have an answer in the fullness of time.

We can both agree to disagree on what we hope that answer may be. The sticker price is huge even without any land cost computed in, no question about it. In the long run though, I don't sit back and let the high price I paid years ago to live in an overpriced house in another state bother me. I look back at the great memories and am happy where I am now without allowing it to negatively impact my daily life. I did what I felt was right at the time, plowed through it and am happy on the other end of it.

The 8 million was a Daily Herald number. It was the cost estimate for missing the spring of 2007 construction season. Of course it's a total swag. It could be a more or signifigantly less.

Yeah we are 5M in the hole if we walk away from bb. 1m for selling the 25 acres back and 4 million in expert witness fees. Of course we get our purchase price back. 6.25 million or so.

Who by the way signed such a one-sided land purchase? Let me know so I can sell them some.

These are so many funny numbers. Since the board is currently stalling and not sharing information.

I get the fact you are very comfortable and trust the board to move forward without further problems. Me, I feel like this whole situation needs additional indepedent review. I do not agree that just letting the board spend more money will save us money. Yes, I know that does not fit the 30 day timeline. But that is life. We were not prepared to lose.

If you scroll way back up, that was my first post. Closed doors, tight time frames, and large sums of money are not good ingredients for governmental bodies.

I do respect your position. You just need to understand my trust in the board was lost over the bb land process.

Could you answer two questions for me. In your opinion is it acceptable the board had no plan in the case they lost the trial? (Yes or no). Do you feel well informed on the cureent decision making process? (Yes or no)

Dear Joe,

Very nice!

"Take your delusional narcissistic hypocritical xenophobic paranoia elsewhere; preferably to a professional." You even spelled them correctly.

But I have a question, why do you continue to attack me, and completely avoid addressing the issues I raise? Is it because you have nothing to respond with?

By the way, what is your hourly rate?

Brad 204,

Yes. I agree with the ugly numbers so far and there are probably some we still don't know about.

Changing locations would add more legal fees, I believe, because we made the BB estate jump through legal hoops and we walked away from it. Or was that part of your 4 million so far?

We would pay somewhere around 6 million more for land in the south versus what we offered to the BB estate and then we would have who knows how much more added to the construction cost and possibly even a redesign of the building and or the site spec.

The interest cost stops if we say OK, we'll buy it, I believe.

So, the only difference with numbers we do know are really just around 9 million.

Do you happen to know the time frame that caused the 8 million in construction cost increase? If we delay that much again, that 9 million savings will be basically gone. How long will it take and how much will it cost for a new site spec and building design for another location? That answer should allow us to rough estimate the further increase in construction costs due to delay.

With any one of those numbers I believe we can extrapolate out the rest.

I see the boundary issue and the spirraling costs of the metea as two differnt issues. The boundary issue is fluid. Population and school board changes (who really thinks incumbants will win in 2009) can move the lines around.

If we make a rash decision on Metea we are stuck with it.

Just for fun let's do the numbers again

15 m in new land costs
8. m (est increase in construction costs)
4 m (my guess at current legal fees)
153 k (in interest costs for the 30 days * 5100 )

I admit I am taking liberty with 8M and the 4M. Having the exact numbers would require what. Oh open door meetings with the public. Wouldn't want that.

DB, you are not the only one in the district who works for their money. You can change your predicament or choose not to. It appears that you seem to think the district as a whole has to bend to suit you, but you can't bend to suit the needs of the district.

Take your delusional narcissistic hypocritical xenophobic paranoia elsewhere; preferably to a professional.

Anymore help and I'll have to start charging my hourly rate.

Dear 18 yrs in 204,

It will increase your property value by "alleviating overcrowding at WVHS", isn't that what they told all of us? In other words, WVHS will become better overnight and more people will want to move to your area, thus creating more demand and, of course, raising your home’s value.

It will also increase your property value because Jeanette Clark said it was "good" for the district. What, you don't believe her?

I was never for leaving a school as an island. Your school should be attending the new high school. How the devil much could it hurt to put your area in the new high school? You can thank Jeanette Clark and her cohorts on the school board for hanging you out to dry!

You were just as screwed as the slightly less than half of the people who voted against the referendum. And what if they move the new school to the Macom property, think you’ll get the benefit of the board’s largess and sent to where you and your neighbors want to go?

Of course, as Joe pointed out to ME in his recent comment, you could always sell your house and move to an area that is committed to going to the new high school, right? I mean forget about costs, forget about selling your house in this market, etc., you see, according to Joe, YOU are the one who should be inconvenienced, not someone like him.

And Joe, by the way, I got a house in this area by “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” long ago. Hard work and good luck work wonders. How did you come about your money to be able to afford this area, trust fund, mom and dad? But I will agree with you totally in one area, if the deal isn’t good for me, then I will complain or do something about it, until it gets fixed.

You see, in the word I live in here in the second best town in America, families watch out for themselves first, and the community second. Why in the world should I want to limit my children’s access to a great school, just for your kids benefit? I mean, you really are joking, right?

But I have an idea that I know a liberal such as yourself will love. Why not have the State of Illinois, or better yet the Federal government, pass a law that says if someone doesn’t like where they are living (because some dopey government body changed the rules in the middle of the game) then that someone can get, say, $50,000 tax free and not to have to be repaid, for the sole purpose of giving them the opportunity to either move or replace the value lost in their home due to the actions of the dopey government. And, in order to pay for such a new law, the government will raise your taxes on your house and income, sounds great, right Joe?

"... the school board is trying to backdoor this new school so that there constituents in the north end will see a rise in their property values once this lending crisis is over." Somehow I don't think this comment pertains to Brookdale. Has anyone looked at the current redistricted boundaries? Brookdale is an island. North of us is I-88 and industrial. All subdivisions directly around us will attend Metea. The closest students who will attend Waubonsie with Brookdale are Stonebridge residents a little over 4 miles away. (Even the subdivisions that lie between Brookdale and Stonebridge will attend the new school.) Four elementary schools feed into Hill Middle School. Three will attend Metea. The fourth, Brookdale, will go alone to WVHS. I have lived in Brookdale for 18 years and my children graduated from WVHS. I live as far north as you can go but please tell me how this new school will raise my property values?

Dear brad 204,

Amen Brother!

I am extremely angry with those twits known as Republicans. As far as I am concerned they are cut from the same cloth as the dopes in Washington, DC.

Thank goodness we outed that State Senator from Plainfield. Do you think she ever wants to help Metzger again?

The first question asked at any upcoming forum should be what you asked, what were the fees for our outside council and what were the fees for the lobbyists?

And just to add fuel to the ever growing fire, does anyone know if there is any truth to the rumor that former Inspector Clueso (a/k/a School Superintendent Howie ("I'm in the board's back pocket) Crouse is/was on the Macom payroll during the last desperate attempt to impose the quick take powers? I heard he was trying to get the State Senator from Plainfield to vote for quick take with the quid pro quo being that the families in Ashwood would send their kids not to Waubonsie, as per the referendum, but to Neuqua?

DB, for all of the liberal bashing you're doing I think you need to take a long hard look in the mirror.

Here's some free advice:

1) Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and move to an area that is going to NVHS both pre and post boundaries. Your bet would be hedged either way.

2) Stop crying and whining for the school board to give you property-value welfare. You seem to think it's a horribly bad thing unless it benefits you.

Short of that, don't blame others for your lack of desire to help yourself. If you want to go to NVHS, you can. There are plenty of homes on the market if it's that important to you. You just have to decide how important it really is.

The goal of the referendum is to alleviate overcrowding at the HS and MS levels. Build a school for the over capacity and convert back a freshman center to be a middle school. That is not off the table. Perhaps you misquoted, misread, or simply misunderstood what MM said.

I agree with DB. Well liberal bashing aside since I am more daily show than fox news.

And joe I hear ya it does seem like the easier path. But if the truth is truely on the side of not enough enrollment growth and big cost overs runs. The ops referundum is not going to get passed.

So what do we do then? We let it sit empty for a couple of years. Then we shut down another school (say Wabonsie) and fill it with those students. Sounds a bit familiar doesn't. Like a certain elementry on the south end of the district.

There is a lot of ground swell around this issue. And not just with the middle fingure raising/liberal bashing crowd. That is why it is highly important the public is looped back into this. If not the disputes are going to get more heated. Then we might even end up with legal action being filed against the board. Boy, wouldn't that be great. (Sarcasm) We can spend more good money fighting useless court battles.

Hey one last question. How much did the district spend on legal fees for brach brodie and lobbying the state government? You should be pissed DB those state congressmen supporting the quick take were republicans :) These fees should be attributed to the new high school as well. Is that another four or eight million. Are there more pockets of untapped funds for that?

Dear Joe and 204 a district, not A school,

It seems like Ann Coulter is correct, why talk to a liberal? I tried (albeit not my best effort) to change the dynamics of this bickering, but, alas, you compassionate liberals just weren’t interested. Well, thank you for reminding me why I thought you acted likes jerks in the first place. I will never let my softer side influence me again.

Also, just for the record, I too wouldn’t want to live anywhere the likes of you two as well. I thought common sense and decency prevailed here in the Midwest, but maybe you two aren’t from the Midwest in the first place.

And Joe, I thought you didn't let catch phrases influence the way you think? Nike, just do it? Really!

Another alternative you conveniently forget to mention is to NOT build the third high school, at all. Why not wait for at least two more years and see where the numbers come out. In the meantime why not actually upgrade Waubonsie to make it a showplace? Why not upgrade all of the schools that need air conditioning? Why not upgrade the computer classrooms and equipment? Why not add curriculums to the high schools that would involve various software certifications? Why not make web design an entire curriculum in and of itself? Inquiring minds want to know!

In the meantime our precious darlings could be put into temporary classrooms (most students and teachers actually like them) and wait for a definitive trend to immerge. Your rush to spend money is typical of all liberals; they just love to spend other people’s money.

And why haven't we had any public meetings yet!!! I want to know the lies (err facts) that the school board is going to tell us before it is too late. It is clear that the school board wants to wait until the eleventh hour and then say they didn't have any direction from the taxpayers (you know Joe, the people who pay all of the money you so dearly love to spend).

I'll give them direction! When do we get to hear the facts and ideas they are espousing?

Joe, the goals and ideas set forth in your beloved referendum are completely off the table now, heck, even Metzger said so himself.

Wise up folks, that band of misfits known as the school board is trying to backdoor this new school so that there constituents in the north end will see a rise in their property values once this lending crisis is over.

There will always be people with money and those people will always buy wherever they want, regardless of what Joe and 204 a district, not A school tell you.

Hey, for all we know, Joe and 204 a district, not A school are paid hacks for the school board trying to manipulate public opinion with their b.s. and subterfuge, don't buy it folks.

Brad 204,

Yes, the costs are disgusting no matter which way you slice it. Buy the BB land, and it is way more expensive than we all hoped.

Walk away, and the cost of construction continues to become more and more expensive with an open-ended timeline to allow the costs to keep rising indefinitely until we do find land (that we only hope is cheaper) and are ready to start.

Either way, it simply sucks. This is when you ask yourself: What is the ultimate goal of having passed the referendum in the first place? In my mind, it was to build a needed 3rd high school.

IMO, Nike has it right: Just do it.

Could we get back to the point. What do we do now? That was the point of this thread. Rehashing all this old drama and name calling is intellectually childish.

I'll recap. The jury did allow us to buy the land. They also doubled the price of the land, awarded damages, and gave us 30 days to figure it out. Oh and we are being charged $5100 a day for interest. Building costs have increased at an estimated 8M.

There has been no public information on alternate plans. Yeah not a single alternative plan was created over the past years while we waited.

dougboy,

for someone who hates calling names you do it so often - and continue to do so - seems like a conflict there. If you think that lends any credibility to your rant, it only goes to show what little else you have. What in 'your book' does it mean when someone resorts to name calling as their primary vehicle for getting their point across ?

why not a new vote ? Why didn't the country get a new vote after the last few elections, why didn't Nixon get a new vote after it seemed Kennedy may have stolen the election. Because my friend we are in that democracy you rant about - there are no do overs when the publc has spoken - that is something a 5 year old asks for and kindly grandparents acquiesce to when playing games. You had your vote -- you did your screaming.... it did a lot of good didn't it ? So much for that theory.

Also sorry you are so influenced by TV and radio pundits at either end of the political spectrum to the point where you feel every discussion must include denigration of all ' opponents '. Those people pray on the weak minded - be they far right or far left wing preachers. I pay no attention to either, and most people do not. If a Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh colors your world, and gives you an agenda - or teaches someone you to behave, I feel bad for you.

DB,

I believe you lost the argument with your very first post which started out "Dear Joe, You are a real jerk!"

Dear Joe and 204 a district, not A school & George P. Burdell,

I too, will try to keep this brief as I have more important things to do in my life than waste time trying to educate two ignorant liberals and one lost soul who have absolutely no interest in hearing the truth. The three of you seem like small fish in the vast wasteland of the liberal democratic cesspool, please have some bigger, more persuasive fish write-in.

Years ago I learned that when the other party in an argument starts getting flustered and his opponent’s points seem to be hitting home, the weakened party, with no good ideas or thoughts left in his arsenal, begins to attack the superfluous outer tangential points in order to take the attention away from the fact that they are losing the argument. Based upon your dopey comments, you are all losing the argument.

I realize (duh!) that the poor housing market today is not the result solely of the boundary changes. The sub-prime market players and the increase in interest rates have turned the housing industry upside down due to the fact that predatory lenders made it way to easy for the wrong people to get credit.

If none of you is in a similar position as mine, than you have absolutely no standing in this argument. Either you are remaining in the school boundary that you wanted originally, or you are better off with the new boundary and school that goes along with it.

It is very easy for you all to sound self righteous and pious when you have nothing to lose. And Mr. Burdell, if you bought your house just because it was district 204 and not because you were going to Neuqua, you have demonstrated either one of two things, you either incredibly lucky and found this school district by shear accident or, two, you are the most uninformed home buyer I have ever heard of. Say, I have a bridge in the Brooklyn, NY area, are you interested?

You want to talk about democracy and capitalism, I say we now have some open meetings and re-vote on what to do going forward. In light of the fact that what we voted on has now changed dramatically, we are technically anticipating doing something with the money that was not in the original referendum. So why not have some debate with the mopes on the school board and then take a new vote on how to proceed?

Too expensive you say, well when Mark Metzger was asked what he thought the legal fees for the trusts would be, he stated that he thought they would be in the two to three million-dollar range. Now I ask you, has anyone added up the cost of the outside council that the school district has hired to bring this matter to trial? Want to bet it is in the two to three million-dollar range? A new vote would cost less than one million dollars, and would have community involvement.

Finally, I too hate the fact that these online arguments have deteriorated into name-calling and character assassination. I do not enjoy calling people derogatory names nor making assessments of their academic prowess. But in today’s society, thanks to our politicians (especially the liberal democrats and their handlers) nowadays a person’s opinion and beliefs will get steamrolled if they come out with quiet logic and calm demeanor.

Today, thanks to the likes of A-number one jerks like Chris Matthews and that raging Cajun James Carville, the tone has been set that it is dog eat dog, or kill or be killed. This take no prisoners attitude is nothing new (read the pamphlets from the elections in the late 1700s and early 1800s), but in order to be heard, one has to scream, both literally and figuratively.

Dough boy,

You are everything that is wrong in this district. Elitism, entitlement, and yes a certain amount of prejudice dripped in for good measure. Fortunately you are in the minority otherwise the thought of sending my children to school with yours would make me sick.

FYI, you bought into a district. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. You fell victim to your real estate agent. When we built 18 years ago, the children from our subdivision were bused past one elementary school to another. You know, that is still happening in some areas of the district.

And if you need to know, I have one child who graduated from Waubonsie and my second is supposed to attend Metea. Sorry, can't switch houses with you but then if your neighbors are anything at all like you, I would be very uncomfortable living there.

I am very upset by all this but I am confident that the district and the SB are working toward a solution. I am with Joe on this one, I hope they bite the bullet and move forward with BB.

Sorry, Dough Boy, I bought into a home in District 204, not because my kids would go to Neuqua. There is nothing wrong with Waubonsie Valley. The only reason I'd object to my kids being bused there is that it is 30 minutes door-to-door from our home vs. 10 to Neuqua.

DB, I will keep this short and sweet:

My children are now not scheduled to go to NVHS with the new boundaries. If they were, I would gladly give it up to get the final high school built for the district. I wouldn't give it up to you, but I would give it up to a neighbor of yours who has a set of decency about the way they conduct themselves in the world. Then again, I might simply do it out of pity for them.

Please take your incorrect assumptions and go have a time-out in the corner. I believe you are just embarrassing yourself at this point.

There's a playbook ? You've got to be kidding I hope. Talk about taking off the tin foil hat.

You might recall White Eagle did go to Waubonsie HS before, in fact Glawe's son graduated from there. So he's a Benedict Arnold? It sure didn't seem to hurt them at all, not selling that area out did it ? - but again, why look at facts, when you're pontificating.

As for your insane challenge, my life is not all encompassed by financial gain on my home as yours obviously is. Everyone wants a gain out of their home, but I am not consumed by it. If you were the financial genius you portray yourself to be, that part of your portfolio would not drive you to madness. Maybe you view children as pawns to be moved around your chessboard, I do not.

So what about answering where the supposed north end of the district begins ? What a tiny tiny world you live in.

Or explaining how the housing market crisis in the US right now is not happening. News flash today - foreclosure rate just doubled YTY again, but it's a HS causing the problem - I'll consider that your expert financial guideance. Funny I didn't see Waubonsie mentioned in the financial release.


"Foreclosure filings across the U.S. nearly doubled last month compared with September 2006, as financially strapped homeowners already behind on mortgage payments defaulted on their loans or came closer to losing their homes to foreclosure, a real estate information company said Thursday.

A total of 223,538 foreclosure filings were reported in September, up from 112,210 in the same month a year ago, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac Inc.

The number of filings in September was down 8 percent from August's 243,947, the firm said.

Despite the sequential decline, the September figure represents the second-highest total for filings in a single month since the company began tracking monthly filings two years ago."


"


I agree whole heartedly with Dough Boy. Housing sales are in the crapper in certain subdivisions in Naperville because of the new school boundries. Parents do not want their kids to go to WVHS when they thought they would be attending NVHS. WVHS has too large of a gang enviornment no doubt caused by the "Aurora" factor and these parents do not want their children exposed to it.

Dear Joe and 204 a district, not A school,

Just to set the record straight I was there at the meeting that you and I are referencing and I was not among them who flipped off the rest and left. I would have liked to, but I stayed until the bitter end. However, a vote with the middle finger is a vote nonetheless.

If you recall (which you seem to conveniently forget) the reason the people left was when Metzger et al added two additional “alternatives” to the mix that have never been proposed to the public. They did it just to satisfy their base and prop up the property values in the north. Their alternatives 6A & 6B were just a b.s. way of imposing their communist hand against the people. The people who left had vetted the 4 original proposals, but when none of them fit the Board’s agenda, they went to Benedict Arnold (i.e. Bruce Glawe) and got him to bring his White Eagle cronies into the mix and tell them, “it’s either Waubonsie or the new school, which do you prefer?” So guess which one they chose?

Also, if I recall the vote on the referendum was in the 56% / 44% majority. True enough, I hated the outcome, but in no way would I call it a resounding majority. If the sheep in White Eagle had had any stomach at all, they would have voted it down, but they were afraid of being redistricted into Waubonsie.

When you write, “ Your comments are so rooted in hatred and prejudice that they do not deserve a response – nor will they get one. Btw – I am neither liberal, nor a democrat…” I find it amusing and typical. Typical from the standpoint of when someone does not have coherent response; they simply try to reframe the argument and say nothing at all, which you did very well. Further, I looked on page 847 of the liberal democratic playbook and lo and behold found those exact words. So I guess you either are being directed by someone else, or you are in fact a closet liberal, democrat.

I do not understand why you two liberal, democrats have avoided my simply challenge to you and your ilk, I reiterate, “I’ll offer this challenge to all the fools who voted for this new high school, when their kids are going to stay at the Neuqua Valley High School. I will trade your slot at Neuqua Valley High School for my slot at the “new” school. Any takers?” Why not put your kid’s education and the value of your home where your big mouth liberal spewings come from?

Two other items recently came to my attention. First, in the current edition of The Echo, the Neuqua Valley High School newspaper, there were two articles regarding hallway traffic. In both articles the bottom line was that with a little forethought and planning (God forbid we should ask people to think for themselves) students could shave at least two minutes off of their passing times. So much for overcrowding.

The other item is a front page, above the fold article, on The Ledger Sentinel newspaper in Oswego stating that they are about to begin re-districting for their school district. The first thing they want to do is form a committee of sixty people (that’s right 60) to help start the process. Why didn’t we form such a wide ranging committee to deal with our re-districting? Simple, the School Board didn’t want any input to change their preconceived agenda to help the north.


I am a new resident. Picked where I lived after all this drama. So can we put them back in our pants boys can we get back to the facts? No one seems to want to talk to the poor judgement that has gotten us to this place. Nor the fact all information is being kept secret.

doughboy,

As Joe points out, it appears you were one of the 'children' who stomped out of the NV boundary meeting, flipping off your fellow 204 residents and telling us you would ensure our school was voted down. How'd that work out for ya ? As you sit there and wave the flag for capitalism, your views are more fascist than capitalist. Perhaps there should be a school district just for you and any followers - as most people in this district do not want to deal with your views - and check the voter registration, most are card carrying GOP members, not the liberals you claim everyone opposed to your view to be.

As far as the homes selling in Lehman's subdivision, pick up a paper my friend, the housing market is in the crapper, especially the higher end - and Waubonsie valley HS is not located across the country. As a financial advisor one would think you'd have a clue on that. But don't let that get in the way of a good rant on how important you are -

So you believe you are the only executive in this area ? The thing is most of us have no need to try and get into a contest to see who has the larger role in corporate America - (you'd likely lose that one btw). I'm not impressed in the least.

Also may want to get a map - the north end of the district is in Warrenville and I88 not 81st street where the school will be located, which is physiclly closer to the south end than the north end.

Your comments are so rooted in hatred and prejudice that they do not deserve a response - nor will they get one.

btw - I am neither liberal, nor a democrat - but you hang onto your looney view - I am sure people by you are thrilled to have you speaking for them.

Seek help !

I enjoy a good debate. Conservative or liberal who cares right now. How about we dicuss the closed door nature of the current decision making and how the district was so wrong about the jury decision.

I would wager that the vote is now null and void. I would not go so far as to call it fraud but the facts are now changed. I just wonder why everything is being done in secret now.

So, should we talk about the facts or just keep tossing up a "smoke screen"? Because its pretty obvious that is what the school board is doing.

DB,

Being the capitalist that you are and lover of the American way of doing things, you will be happy to know that the boundaries and decision to build the HS were both arrived at by a VOTE. If you disagree with that vote, that's fine, but you were out voted.

If you were part of that vocal crowd that left the boundary meeting at NVHS with their middle fingers raised while shouting obscenities, I can understand why you may have missed that important fact. There was a vote. It was a hard earned vote and it was done in the American way.

Being the self admitted capitalist that you claim to be, you should appreciate and honor that.

Dear Dave,

Not only are you quite wrong in your comments, you are quite ignorant as well. It is ignoramuses such as yourself that helped pass the last referendum in the first place. Fools bought into the idea that our School Board had the brains to analyze the problem and render a proper solution, but, of course, they were nowhere near up to the task.

If the same dopes were running a major business and they told their shareholders the same pack of lies, and then the case worked out the way it did, those Bozos would be looking for work. They would have been fired in a minute!

When I bought my home it had various schools “attached” to it. In other words, I could not pick and choose, as you seem to suggest, which grammar school my children would attend, nor could a choose the middle school or high school. I was in a school boundary (remember those pesky little things) that mandated where my kids went to school. Therefore, where my kids went to school was mandated already by the district, and not subject to my choosing.

Your accusation that I went through some poor decision-making is also quite wrong and laughable. I am a very bright person who works in the financial community and I advise people daily on business decisions that affect millions of dollars of commerce. They look to me to help them decide where to spend their money and how to save taxes. I take financial decision making very seriously, especially when it is with my hard earned money.

That is why I decided to come to the area where my kids would attend Neuqua Valley High School. If the school district was all that mattered, I would have been able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by buying a less expensive home somewhere other than where I did end up buying.

You seem to intimate that Waubonsie Valley High School is just as good as Neuqua, does that mean your kids would go there? If your kids are already scheduled for Neuqua Valley High School then I would like to make you a proposition, why not trade me your Neuqua slot for a slot at either Waubonsie or Metea? That way I can get what I want and you can get what you want! What’s that, you don’t want to trade? I didn’t think so, that is why people who talk as you do are such hypocrites, you want others to change, but you are not interested in changing yourself for others.

I’ll offer this challenge to all the fools who voted for this new high school, when their kids are going to remain at Neuqua Valley High School. I will trade your slot at Neuqua Valley High School for my slot at the “new” school. Any takers?

But Dear Dave, you are correct about one thing, the district is, and will continue to be, extremely separated. You accuse me of arrogance and/or elitism, how quaint. Did you find that in your liberal democrat playbook? Or did you make that up all by yourself? What I can afford in terms of housing and where I choose to make the home is none of your or anyone else’s business. If I have the ability to choose where I want to live, it is because of thirty years of hard work and saving, that got me to that point. I have earned the right to live wherever I can afford. You call it arrogance and/or elitism, I call it capitalism.

Ask the builder of the expensive homes down in the southwest corner of the district (Ashwood I believe) how home sales are going now that his area is slated to attend Waubonsie. I believe that he can’t give them away. Why is that?

It is a fact that homes in Tall Grass and White Eagle are now and will now sell for less due to the fact that their kids will not attend Neuqua. Go ahead and check the reduced selling prices.

Just wait until the people who live in Tamarack begin to realize that if their kids attend Peterson Grammar School, then they will be scheduled to attend Waubonsie as well. Do you think their property values will swell as well?

And as for location of the school, why was it to be built in the north end of the district? It is the south end of the district where there is real overcrowding. The Scullen Middle School is the most overcrowded school in the district, so why build the high school four miles north? I will tell you why, it is so that property values in the north end of the district will rise when certain residents get re-boundaried out of Waubonsie and placed into the “new” school.

Putting the school at the location presently selected, is the single stupidest thing the Board could have done for a variety of reasons. The two biggest that come to mind are the fact that the nearest intersection to the proposed school site (Route 59 & 95th Street) is the busiest intersection in the district, bar none. Secondly, with the majority of the potential growth and current growth in the district being in the south end, why then would you build something to address it miles and miles away.

If you want to talk about arrogance and/or elitism you should be referring to the School Board members. All but one of them showed an arrogance and hubris usually only reserved for well-heeled Democrats in Chicago. They lied and changed the rules and alternatives to suit their constituents’ desires, not to address the problem. Do you remember the four alternatives at the Neuqua Gold Campus meetings that suddenly changed into alternatives 6A & 6B?

What we really need is an open meeting with the Board to hear all of the alternatives and problems that are now on the table. We should have a week of public comment and a public vote on what should be done. The people should vote on the future course of action and not let these communist school board members get a second chance at screwing this up again.


I do not want the third high school for a lot of reasons. Most I have been listed in previous posts. I will take a stab at why DB might have “slammed” MVHS and WVHS.

WVHS is a “perceived” poor step child to NVHS. I say perceived since there are a lot of communities that would look at WVHS and be very proud. They, the district, most definitely tried to put lipstick on the proverbial pig, but at the end day the renovation did not do a lot to alleviate perceived concerns. Of course when one of the number one complaints was WVHS did not receive the same interior brick treatments that NVHS has you do have to wonder what people’s priorities are. But that is the perception and just denying it does not exist is a bit naïve.

NVHS design was lifted from a school up in Stillwater, MN. The school design was further enlarged and enhanced. For instance, adding special footings to add the ability to expand when needed. (Something that seems to have been forgotten in all this). NVHS facilities are better than most universities from the theater, to the state of the art class rooms, to the sport facilities.

To say it does not make a city proud to have it within its boarders is silly. It symbolizes over spending to a fair number of people, but it also something a fair number of people are proud of. If you bought a house that was supposed to be aligned with NVHS and then it was aligned with WVHS. You are going to have a drop in the price of your home. If you can even sell it. Go check out the 100s of empty lots in Ashwood Park if you would like an example. Or talk to a few people who lived in Brighton Ridge when it was re-aligned. It was a blood bath for home owners. Which given how much people invest in their homes, it is not surprised people are being a bit self-centered.

Now let’s talk about Metea. Metea’s design is lifted from I believe Oswego East High School. The instructions given to the design firm was to lighten-up on the features and functions to make the budget. Remember they had to strip out a few things just to get the referendum passed. I wonder if we went down to Oswego East and walked around and started picking off items that would equal the 8 M increase in construction costs and the 15 M in new lands costs what we would end up with? So that is where the idea of it being inferior is coming from. If you know someone in district facilities (not management) but people who really have to work with this new school, ask them how they feel this school is going to look and operate.

And if by chance Dave and Joe you might be highly interlaced with the school board or school management open you DAMN eyes. Beyond the silly debate about what school is better or who lives where. The facts of this new high school do not add up. When the initial costs of a project increase 18% before ground is even broken that is a bit more than sticker shock. ((15M Land Increase + 8M construction const increase) / 125M ) Enrollment numbers do not support this project. And please do not tell me we should just STAY THE COURSE. Sure, maybe we get it done for 125M. But then we have to have a whole another operational budget. We need to support a whole new fleet of Principles, Vice Principles, Deans, Assistant Deans, and Assistant to the Assistant Dean. Oh and of course we would probably need to expand the district staff to support the support staff.

And my main concern: If it is so important to the district maybe they should stop pulling a closed door approach and start sharing some information. I have reached out to the school board and all I have gotten is there may be some data available at the end of the month. Oh, is that going to be 5 or 2 minutes before they make the closed door decision?

Ashbury Resident:

interesting you choose to make the 'city' comment instead of SD -- do you consider Waubonsie to be a part of YOUR city ? With more than 1/2 the students being from Naperville -- I ask you to explain how you support doughboy who slams WV and MV as they exist and are drawn up today --

glad to see another person out from behind the smokescreen

Wow doughboy -- I guess using the words 'communist' and 'liberal' makes a more convincing argument to the voters. I would think a voter would shut out this type of terminology as the one who is uninformed on land status and more into some agenda -- which becomes clear later in your post.

Let me make this simple for you - when you bought your house - you did NOT buy access to ANY school - you bought attendance in a SCHOOL DISTRICT. Some thing that seems to be lost on those like yourselves who continually reference, I bought my house because the realtor drove me past MY school.

If you bought your home for Neuqua Valley HS as you say - then you went thru some very poor decision making processes as read your contract - I am fairly certain there is no mention that the current HS will always be your HS. I'm sorry you may have to leave your precious school - but your arrogance is what is separating the district - period. To make the assumption that your home will decrease in value because you might now go to Matea Valley instead - is a best speculation - at worst a level of elitism that stuns me.

There folks you have the reason behind much of this nonsense and why the school 'has to be south' - at least I will give doughboy credit for having the honesty to admit it, and not hide behind other smokescreen reasons.

People criticize the school board for bothering with a stop-gap measure with the Freshman Center idea; claiming it was not enough and now we have to complete what should have been done the first time: Building a 3rd high school for District 204.

I believe people are confusing the fact that District 203 has 2 high schools in Naperville and mistakenly make the assumption that either can help serve District 204's needs (who's area includes not just Naperville, but Aurora, Bolingbrook, Plainfield, etc). Central and North provide no help for D204. D203 has an interesting venture ahead of them with the probable eventuality of completely replacing Central High School. They are lucky though because they already have their land as part of a gift to the city many years ago.

People did their own math on the build out left in D204 and reached the conclusion that a 3rd HS is needed for now and the future. The issue now is getting the land to follow through with those plans and complete it, which also completes the new school build out for the district after an existing freshman campus is converted back to become our 7th middle school after MVHS opens. The build out will be complete. No more new school construction referendum.

It's a nice 'end game' for new construction referendum and the sooner we get the district there, the better.

The longer we wait, the more the costs will continue to go up. Wasn't that most people's point? To save money? Delaying further will likely cost us more money in the long run and will repeat the same over-spending mistakes of the freshmen centers caused by time marching on without the proper complete solution being in place.

Of course I am on board with stopping this madness. I am not sure Joe is a Jerk. Just someone with a different opinion.

The question I have is what the heck do we do? I have contacted Mark, the board president, and I have not really gotten anywhere. Do we have a recourse? We say we have a second chance, but do we?

How do we stop this thing? The only next chance I see is the 2009 elections and of course voting down the operational referendum. What are our options?

DB,

Not everyone looks at the issue of location with a "what's in it for me" attitude.

Some, myself included, look at it from a "What's best for the growing district". The thought of "what's best for me" or "what's best for my property value" isn't even a factor so please, don't displace your perceptions onto my point of view. It's unwelcome and simply wrong.

My children too will have to change schools as a result. We're happy where we currently are, but it was decided that overall, the boundaries that were chosen were best for the entire district as a whole.

I can't fathom why you think your neighborhood has been diminished by anything. Please elaborate. Do you feel your house value dropped? If so, why? Are you mistaking in perceiving a pull-back off the housing peaks as being somehow related to a boundary decision? Your tone comes across as anger or full of fear and rage and I can't understand it, honesty.

Thre cheers for Doughboy! He has all the facts and suggested an absolutely great idea in moving forward with this huge problem. Why build a multi million dollar school if we are not going to need it 10 years down the line? Why can't 4 (yes 4!) large High Schools be enough to support a city with 137,000 residents? Upgrade Waubonsie and move on to bigger and better things that will make our City one to be proud of! I agree with Doughboy..."Joe" is a JERK!

Dear Joe,

You are a real jerk!

Your sarcastic response is not only annoying, it clearly shows you are ill-informed or just plain ignorant regarding the matter here in “District 204 land”. Your constant patronizing does nothing to change the minds of the voters (i.e. taxpayers) of District 204. In fact it only serves to solidify peoples beliefs that the only reason communists such as yourself wanted this “new” school built in the first place was so that the School Board’s constituents could see an increase in their property values in the north end of the district. Overcrowding was a mere smokescreen and just so much liberal b.s.

I will also lay even money on the fact that you and your neighborhood either benefited or remained unchanged after the boundaries were re-drawn. I know that someone of your ilk would sing a very different tune if your kids faced going to a school that you had not chosen when you bought your house, or if your house value had dropped significantly by being re-districted into another school’s boundaries.

And let’s drop all of the politically correct b.s. as well. Those taxpayers who bought a home in an area so that their kids could go to Neuqua Valley do not, and never would, want to send their kids anywhere else. I didn’t want Waubonsie nor do I want a “new” Metea. I bought were I did for a reason, not on a lark.

Now I face the real possibility of getting even a lesser “new” school because the six dopes and one member collectively known as the School Board couldn’t believe that in a capitalist society a seller would not want to sell at the highest price possible. The Board still states that they thought they could get a property at a “fairy land” price and ignore the current fair market value.

Hey Joe, I have an idea, I want to buy your house, site unseen, and I will offer you the market value price it had five years ago, are you interested?

What needs to be done is use some common sense and take advantage of this second chance. I bet many of us haven’t had a do-over in our lives for several decades, so we need to take advantage of it. Here’s how we do it.

First we take a look at Waubonsie Valley High School and make every possible upgrade until it becomes the true equal of Neuqua Valley, both physically and academically. By doing this, there will not be any basis for arguing that Waubonsie is the poor relation to Neuqua. In fact, just to make things interesting, we should add a little something to Waubonsie in order to make it a bit more desirous than Neuqua. Next, we add air conditioning to all schools in the district, not just the elementary schools. Finally, we examine the “Frontier” campus concept and see how we can add this to Waubonsie as well.

And for all you doubters, who state that enrollments are not going down, please re-check your facts. What other conspiracies do you believe or historical events do you also deny happened? Please take off your tin-foil hats and smell the coffee.

Personally, it boils down to this for my mind:

We can take what is in front of us and build the school and convert a gold campus back to a middle school and be done with the building of schools once and for all. The court said we can have it. Everyone is just having sticker shock. If you've been tracking the cost of living the past few years, this should come as no surprise.

or

We can hope the magic land fairy can keep costs from going up, can find us suitable land that can get its ownership and location squared away between a private seller, the park district a township, the city, the utilities and a future metra station next door and still not have solved the middle school or the high school problem.

Neither is a great choice, but the first one hits the goal and gets us done building for the district.

So, from what I have read the school is already late in starting. If memory serves the Daily Herald put it at 8M increase since we did not start in the spring. Which leads me to believe that the 15 M extra for the property and the 8 M for the late start put at us 23 M in the hole before we start.

I agree that the loss of the 5 M is unfortunate. I am not sure what we paid for the 25 acres but I will put it at 6.25 M (250K *25). So, we will get 1.25 out of the deal and lose the 5 M. Is saving the 5M worth 23M? Maybe the 25 acres can fit the new middle school? Does having the gold campuses next to Nequa and Wabonsie really creating educational excellence? If we can do that we can decrease the rather large foot print of Metea Valley and open up other land opportunities.

Regardless of the source, 23 M is a lot of money to a district. Just because we CAN deplete our reserves to find the money and CAN de-scope the building to the point of it being more of a middle school than a high school, should we? There are plenty of examples of people who have currently have over extended themselves. Just wait the public sector is typically a year or two behind the private. There will be some version of “sub-prime” fallout in the public sector as well.

The new superintendent presented a great new vision for the student’s of 204. For instance, creating a technology curriculum that starts in kindergarten and takes students through their senior year. Or full day kindergarten. None of his ideas had anything to do with the continue need of 204 to build and build its physical foot print. In fact, I find it highly curious he has never made a material comment on this whole situation.

To prove I am not always opposed to new school spending. I was actually upset when I found out that the IT department can no longer use capital monies to outfit the schools with software and hardware. They can only do it from operating monies. Because why, we need to keep building more and more facilities. Which I am not even really sure we have the money to maintain. (Case in point, the rather lack luster renovation of Wabonsie.) I do not work for the district but I am an IT professional and I realize how important and expensive good technology can be for reaching proper potential.

I firmly believe there is cheaper land to be had the in the district. The property off of 248 and 111th. Sure there are some technical details that might hinder the sale, but did we or did we not fight a 1.5 year battle with a group of people who did not even want to sell to us. I know this brings up the boundary issues. Boundaries will always change when a community is growing. The boundary debate that occurred before the election could be null and void if the population shifts. In my opinion, (and yes it my own opinion) that was just a marketing ploy put forth by the district.

Right now this all feels like a hard sell from a group of individuals who want to safe face in the light of horrific errors in judgment. As I said before, our current and ONLY plan failed we need to step back are re-aim. Yes, we have lost time and yes we may incur more costs. Potentially we should have thought about that before we got funding, pursued a land strategy that makes most free market thinkers cringe, and sat on our collective behinds and watched this train wreck for 1.5 years.

So Mayor,

you propose to walk away for the 25 acres we own ( $1M settlement fee and we have to return the land to BB for what we paid for it ) - then walk away from Brach Brodie ( estimated $4M in legal fees to be paid) - delay the school ( by doing so ) another 1-2 years at lets conservatively say a 5% construction increase cost per year on a base of $100M building ) so another $5M per year --

okay so we take on another $10M - $15M in costs ( and maybe more) - because you'd like to prove a point and move elsewhere ? And just where would that be where the land would be at least that much cheaper ? It's great to pontificate , however show us another plan.


AND - by calling out only Naperville people as pretentious again, you continue to separate the people in this area. So you are saying there are no such people in Aurora/ Bolingbrook / Warrenville ? Glad you can make that call- I view that as either arrogance or naivety.

AR,

I believe you missed the point. The children from the 1,000+ homes to be built are "NOT" accounted for in the system.
Also, if one looks at the grades that will be in high school in 2-4 years from now, there are hundreds more students at those grade levels than are in the high schools right now.

A common mistake people make when looking at student population levels is that they forget that each grade level moves to the next one each year. The 8th grade class this year will not be the 8th grade class next year. They will be in high school. The same goes for every other grade population. They move FORWARD through the system.

If we take just Ashbury's average of 3 kids per house in the system, then another 1,000 homes in D204 will generate another 3,000 kids in the school district.

There is also this thing that older empty nesters do. They retire and move away, vacating their home for new families to come in and generate more kids. It is happening in the older neighborhoods already. Ashbury probably isn't old enough for you to witness this yet. I don't believe it's been there 18 years yet for this to really even begin or even be noticeable, so I can understand why this factoid has been overlooked as well. Don't worry. It will.

So, I am new to 204 in the last 8 months. I moved here from the city to start a family. I have become exposed to this rather heated debate over the past few months. I will say I have a bias. I absolutely believe in private lands rights. Had I been here back in the day I would have fought hard against any government body that thinks it can take private land at whatever price it sees fit. This action by the School Board has biased me against their future actions. So there, I said it I have an agenda!

I will say admit I have no answer and provide none below. I do not know enough to say if we need $Metea$ or not.

My feeling is that governing bodies, school boards included, do not do things well fast. The government process needs the light of day and time to give people (the public) a chance to check out all the facts. Three very bad ingredients for good governmental decision making: closed doors, short timeline, and large amounts of money.

Unless I am wrong the School Board intends to sweep all this under the rug and just proceed as planed. Proceeding without coming back to the public to review any of their choices? Wow, that is an impressive show of arrogance! Shouldn’t someone be accountable for wasting two years of our time over a ridiculous lawsuit? Shouldn’t someone admit that there are now material changes to the new high school and we might want to gasp, VOTE!

I do not feel like I have all the facts. Two years of time and significant material changes have occurred. If I was funding this with private equity, I would want to see new facts. So, I as the public want to know more. I what to have time to review the facts and feel good we are not jumping too fast.

The reality is the jury made the decision for us. Thirty days is not enough time. ISPD has no Plan B?? How is that even remotely possible?? How is that prudent management?? Oh, I guess the plan was spending more money or cut back on a high school that is already a pale comparison of either Nequa or the much maligned Wabonsie.

The district needs more time to review the options. We need a prudent decision that the paying public can believe in. We can’t rush into this with the same blind, uneducated determination that got us into the No-Win Brach-Brodie trial.

Oh, and if this does go through right now I will be looking for the hidden construction costs in the next referendum that is supposed to be for “operational expenses”.

"Joe",

First of all there are not 1,000 homes in Asbury, there are 1,153. The total number of children under 18 in the Ashbury subdivision is 3,634 which was taken from the 2006 Ashbury census. But that's not the point. These students are ALREADY accounted for. Additionally, if enrollment is UP 51 students like you are stating (I beleive it is declining) then why would we need to build ANOTHER high school? Our schools are curretnly not over crowded, why invest millions of taxpayers dollars on something that is NOT NEEDED? Get your facts straight before aimlessly blogging on line!

Ashbury Resident,

The district wide enrollment is up 51 students over last year. There are still many many homes and townhomes yet to be built within the district's boundaries. Now, if you think thousands of dwellings produce NO KIDS, then you might actually have a point. Please, go knocking doors on 1,000 homes in Ashbury and count how many kids there are in D204 schools. See if the number is 0.

If it is, you might just sway my opinion to your point of view. Either way, please post back with how many D204 kids live in those 1,000 homes.

"Joe"

Regardless of what you THINK, I am not OVERLOOKING the facts. The fact is enrollment is declining and WE DO NOT NEED another high school in the area. You must face the FACTS and admit you are WRONG.

Mr Mayor,

Where does this argument that the schools are only used 180 days, less than half the year, come from? Are you suggesting that the school year should be 180 consecutive days - eliminating weekends and holidays? The current school year for SD #204 begins in late August and ends in early June. Then, you have about 6 weeks for complete maintenance of the buldings and facilities before activities begin again in August.

Dave, three brief points:

1. I referred to the Naperville constituents of the IPSD as “pretentious”, an attitude of unjustified distinction or importance, not their affluence. Of all the towns involved would you like to bet that only the Naperville residents, whether it be right or wrong, would be characterized as pretentious? I made no reference to class, only that there are people from all the various towns involved that are opposed to any UNNESSARY tax increase and seek true fiscal responsibility from all their taxing bodies.

2. Your comments confirming the contract mandated by the initial land purchase serves to further illustrate just why so many find the IPSB engendering no confidence. It was rather “pretentious” of them don’t you think to assume that the balance of the land required could be purchased at the price that THEY determined. According to facts you presented Dave, their lack of preparation has now placed them and the taxpayer in a very expensive box which allows for no good remedies.

3. You chose to completely ignore my primary point: given the situation the IPSD has created may require a new approach, one outside standard considerations. If for the sake of argument we assume that there was a real need for this new school it would seem that this option is no longer one that is viable. Given the huge escalation of land costs included with the huge increase in building costs due to the delayed start paints a very unpleasant scenario. Hey, let us not forget, the two current schools are ready and available 365 days a year if needed.

The fact that people are at this point still unable to agree whether or not this project is even needed pretty much forces the answer in my mind. Dave, in addition to being informed as you suggest, I think part of the decision making process also requires that people need to be both realistic and honest with themselves. I would suggest that the IPSD abandon, discontinue, run don’t walk away from this now terribly flawed plan

As the city continues to allow development in the southwest area of Naperville, the number of students that IPSD needs to support will increase. The peak is expected in 2012-2013. Of course, unless the city council decides to not allow children to live in those new developments.

Sorry Ashbury resident, but the number of students in the district is more this year than was last year. The math that most people learned in school says that is an increasing number. If you are choosing to cherry pick one single slice of the enrollment and note a decrease then you are purposely limiting yourself from all of the facts. It's very hard to make the RIGHT decision when you purposely OVERLOOK all of the facts.

Look, the BOTTOM LINE is that enrollment has declined, YES DECLINED in the past 2 years. Why do we need to build another high school when enrollment in our school system is DECLINING? If we move forward we will have a HUGE white elephant on our hands. Enough is enough. The school broad needs to be more fiscally responsible and quit spending the hard working taxpayers of Naperville's money like drunken sailors out on a 3 day weekend pass in some seaside port!

Ann, people need to stay informed ( and be able to see thru the baloney that CFO puts out )- We cannot sell the 25 acres for a profit - that is in the contract - we can only sell it back to BB - and with a penalty fee of approx $1m. There is a loss to the SD of about $4-$5M to walk away from BB so add that to your calculations of moving to another parcel. Also archtitectural fees to rework the building - you can't just plop a building anywhere... add to that that moving would likely delay this 1 -2 years. If money for building materials going to be lower 2 years from now - No. An increase of 5% - 10% in builidng costs would mean a $5M to $10M increase. While the jury verdict was lousy, one has to do the math before running off to another property. If the $s can be bridged though use of interest, financing and contributions (corporate ?) - tell us why we should move. Some pushing so hard for the move are the same people who have other agendas than getting a 3rd high school built.

And 6 day enrollment figures are UP for the district -- so Sarah - why not list middle school and high school enrollment ? Doesn't fit the agenda?

CFO said a lot of things, fear mongering tailores to certain areas -- telling them they were going to be moved to other schools, even though they were walkers etc., and similar nonsense for others they thought could possibly vote no. Organizations like CFO got a foothold because no one knew who they were - but today, a better educated public has ousted their nonsense in 204 and similar groups in 203.

And Mayor - really less than becoming to try and portray this as a class issue - the demographics in this area do not follow city lines...some of the wealthiest areas in this district are in Aurora, and contrary to your portrayal, not everyone in Naperville is somehow wealthy. To try and portay any area as somehow less or more than any other area is exactly the tactics an aforementioned organization would use. I find it really low.

It is not often the taxpayer has an opportunity for a second bite at the apple, and in this instance to perhaps correct a decision made. When is government or our local taxing bodies going to get it: it is time for fiscal responsibility! There is a problem if taxpayers are able to debate fact, whether school enrollment has increased or not. To permit resolution let us assume zero growth. Exactly when the IPSB knew or "guessed" at the land cost is now purely academic and irrelevant.

The unarguable fact is that the proposed building of a third high school by this school board, the school board that has generated no confidence or credibility, is exorbitant and beyond reason. At some point the average resident has to say enough is enough and reign in spending to something prudent. Cancel this project, then recalculate and re-measure it for alternatives.

Hey, our schools are available 365 days per year but we only use them 180 days. Does that make any sense today? Any students bring in the crops this year? By golly, we already pay teachers for an entire "school year". Install the air-conditioning (remember that $50 million problem), expand the school year to twelve months and thus insure the elimination of any necessity for a new high school. Now the IPSD is demonstrating fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer. This would also, as a fortuitous by-product, maximize the student learning process and afford teachers a greater opportunity to accomplish their primary objective, to educate the student. Everybody wins and nothing of substance is sacrificed. What a concept!

People forget that this involves more than just the pretentious Naperville resident, that also affected are the taxpayers of Aurora, Bolingbrook, and others trapped in the IPSD. No one minds providing for a reasonable education, the operative word being reasonable. If parents demand more than that then let them pay for it via even higher fees, etcetera. We all have needs and want the best for our children but the problem is, can we afford to provide everything for everybody all the time without change?

Again, OBFUSCATION.

While CFO may have printed a yellow flyer in the final days before the final referendum they did not say 'all along' that it was over 500K. www.webarchive.org for www.voteno204.org proves you did not say $500K all along.

Fudging the details to suit an agenda. Isn't that what you claim the SB does and as a result can not be trusted? People look at the VoteNo in the same White, er, light.

A broken clock is right twice a day, but the reality is people still discard it and deem it irrelevant. That was proven when they did not vote No the last time around in 2006.

Sell the acreage District 204 already owns for the $600k per acre then look at other alternatives other than building a 3rd high school. The School Board is arrogant and detached from the real world in which middle and lower income families who cannot afford to support a 3rd high school.

Hi Frank,

Actually, the way the comments are organized it is easy to confuse who has posted which comments since they put the name of the person after the solid line.

To the person upset with CFO for detailing the truth, please provide your address. I still have the yellow flyer and would be happy to drop off a copy, it clearly states the land is worth 500K an acre or more. The fact is that the price for the land is more than DOUBLE what the district told us over and over again.

Throughout this while ordeal, only CFO has been completely honest and took great pains to be sure everything they presented was based on solid evidence. Unlike the school district and their dirty tricks marketing firm with its "data manipulation" techniques.

K-5 enrollment has declinded for the 2nd year in a row. That is a fact.

I say if the district can get Metea Valley built for 124.6 M at Brach Brodie, then do it.

The 'declining enrollment' is yet another lie by the Calculated Falsehoods via Obfuscation folks.

Enrollment is up over last year, not down.

Onetov, thank you for educating all of us as to the mishandling of the Naperville taxpayers money by the School Board. It's obvious that with declining student enrollment, the improper calculation of the land value and the poor track record that ANOTHER high school is not needed. I am voting NO if the referendum ever comes up again!

To Samantha Adams:

Do you know how to spell: s a r c a s m ???

I thought CFO stood for Calculated Falsehoods via Obfuscation

CFO's site in March 2005 - April 2006 said:

"In an effort to justify its actions, the District made up a story to the community that the Brach farm - at a price tag of nearly $20M - cost no more than other land that would be available in the south end of the District, in Bolingbrook or Plainfield. However, CFO has talked to area real estate professionals who have indicated that land in Bolingbrook and Plainfield would cost no more than � of the Brach farm. Superintendent Crouse himself admitted this in the fall of 2004 to referendum committee members. Thus, not only is the cost of building the third high school far in excess of what appears to be necessary, but the land itself is nearly double the cost of other available land!"

So, CFO was complaining that the district wanted to spend 20 Million on land, and it appears that CFO thought (After talking to Real Estate Professionals) that 20 million (363K per acre) was DOUBLE the cost of other available land.

CFO *DID NOT* say it was worth 500K... not even close. CFO said it was not worth paying $363K / Acre for the land because other available land was half that.

So please, whomever this is typing the falsehoods: take the lies back under whatever rock it crawled out from.

If you are new to the area, you may be having a hard time understanding some of the history of district 204 and the proposed 3rd high school. The district considered building a 3rd high school many years ago but opted to build freshman centers. They told the public that if they approved a referendum for the freshman centers and later they still need a little more space, they would look at alternatives such as building an addition or letting students take internet courses. Not long after the paint was dry on the freshman centers, the district came back a few years later and said, you know what, we want to build a 3rd high school after all. Huh? The $130 million referendum was proposed and soundly defeated. So, the district went back to the drawing board but this time they came back with a lower price of $124.6 million and threatened that if it wasn't improved, they would go to split shifts. Many vendors that do business with the district gave money to a YES referendum group that used emotional appeals about overcrowding but few facts. So with a massive PR campaign paid primarily by district vendors, threats of split shifts, emotional appeals about overcrowding and promises of "no tax increase"; taxpayers approved a $124.6 million dollar referendum in the spring of 2006 to acquire land and build a 3rd high school.

A citizens group called Citizens for Options or CFO said the school wasn't needed, the cost would be too high and there were better options. They laid out all the facts with a website, printed material, presentations to the board and ads in local papers.

The district said enrollment was going to skyrocket to the tune of 1200-1500 additional students. CFO said that was nonsense, growth had peaked and the district had sufficient capacity and if not, there were better options to spending this sum of money for a school that would be under utilized and later not needed at all.
CFO said there was a bubble of students passing through the system, that enrollment would plateau and then decline.

The district said they could acquire land for the school from an unwilling seller for $257,000 an acre.

The unwilling seller was the Brach/Brodie estate. So, the district spent millions fighting these powerful estates and after a year and a half battle, a jury finally decided the price of the land that equated to....hold on to your seat.... 564K per acre for 55 acres (518K per acre plus over 2 million in damages)!! Ooops!

In printed material, CFO had warned all along that the land was worth at least 500K an acre.

It appeared that the district had purposely low-balled the referendum amount.

Now, there is uproar because the district is short money for the proposed 3rd high school.

But, wait, there is more....

In the meantime, 2 years worth of enrollment data has come in and elementary school enrollment has DECLINED 2 years in a row.

Total growth in the district this year was 34 students at last count. Yes, 34, that's it. The kindergarten class appears to be the smallest it has been since 1998.

In the past 2 years, K-5 enrollment has declined by 365 students at last count.

So, the district was either incompetent or loose and fast with the facts and now they have egg on their face. The numbers clearly show a 3000 student high school isn't needed and the price has skyrocketed. To top it off, the district has no money to operate the school so they are already planning to come back to the taxpayers with another referendum in 2009.

Now, you can understand why residents are skeptical about anything the district tells them.

Frank,

Investing is one thing, throw good money after bad is just plain stupid. The 3rd high school isn't even needed. Why would be build a 3000 student high school when elementary school enrollment is declining? 204 already has over 3000 empty seats?
They built the brand new 850 student Peterson at a cost of 13.5 million and only had 40 children to attend it. They had to close another elementary school and move those children to Peterson and after all that, Peterson is less than 50% utilized. Half the school is empty. Do we need an empty high school too? There is no growth, total 204 enrollment was flat this year.

Are you a banker like school board member Bruce Glawe or do you own a construction company? No rational person would spend $200 million to build an empty high school?

Frank,

People can always go live in districts like 131, 146 or any other place that does not like to invest in education. I've heard it's done wonders.

IPSD 204 grades K-5 enrollment has declined for the 2nd year in a row for a 2-year decline in student enrollment of 365 students at last count. The enrollment numbers used to sell the 3rd HS to the public were wrong (some say fraudulent); the cost numbers were equally untrue. Any knowledgeable person knew the expensive commercial land at RT. 59/75th ST was never going to be sold for the 257K an acre the district told us, the district used that number to try and keep the referendum number as low as possible.

IPSD 204 leadership has lost all credibility.

The 3rd high school will never be needed and should be canceled.

The district should sell the 25 acres of land they already own and use that money to buy A/C units for the schools that don't have them.

OUCH. $600K per acre... ridiculous or is it?
My quarter acre lot is estimated pretty close to that, on an
acre basis.

I have a radical idea.
Trade one public space for another.

Convert current Park land/preserve to build the school.
With limited choices at hand, one has to think out of
the box as they say. If it's 204's park/preserve, then the
people should think about it, seriously.

Joe:

Can the SB have your mailing address so they know where they can send the bill for the extra millions that they will need?

The SB says they are now going to review their options.

Shouldn't they have planned that this might have happened and already have a plan of attack?

Why bother, they are the SB and should get anything they want!

Just do it and get it done.

Everything will never be perfect no matter what or where it's built. Getting it built is the priority and people really need to understand that the children are already in the system and will be hitting the HS level with swelling numbers versus what's in there now in just 2 years. The vote was made to build it, so build it.

Drop the idea and also the ridiculous thought of A/C in every school. There are less expensive alternatives for student comfort and this HS is scaling into a colossal boon doggle

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