Referendum Q&A – Fenton Community High School

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Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding Fenton High School’s proposed $129.7 million facilities referendum. We always strongly encourage residents to visit at one of our presentations or events and ask questions in real time. Please note that this list will likely be updated as the process progresses. Come back often!

Q: Why is this referendum necessary?
A: Our Fenton Community High School District 100 community works together to ensure that all of our students become passionate and thriving learners, but there is one significant obstacle that we simply cannot overcome: the lack of space in our school building. aging. We are content with what we have in our 1950s building, but our second-rate facilities prevent our students from reaching their full potential.

Our infrastructure has been extended well beyond its useful life. Mechanical systems, plumbing and electrical systems must be regulated to ensure the safety and health of the building. Our classrooms and learning areas are small and outdated. Our security system needs improvement. Flooding at building entrances continues to be a problem. Fenton’s sports, music and auditorium facilities are poor and old. The airflow is inconsistent, some kids sweat in one room and some freeze in another, and the smell in our science and social studies wing is notorious.

This retains our students and teachers in academic and extracurricular studies. This creates significant safety issues for everyone in our school. It crams our students into undersized classrooms even before the pandemic makes the need for more space and cleaner air even more urgent. And some of our sports teams can’t even host home games or tournaments.

Q: When did this process start?
A: Fenton initiated a facilities audit in 2019 to assess the conditions, uses, and intended future uses of all learning spaces.

Q: How was this plan developed and what is included?
A: Members of our community have come together in a comprehensive community engagement process over the past six months. By working together and sharing our ideas and passions, we have created a roadmap for the future of Fenton.

The $129.7 million community plan to renovate, modernize and expand Fenton High School will now appear on our ballots for referendum approval in the upcoming election on June 28, 2022. If the referendum is successful, we will be able to:

  • Renovating our school to make it safer for students and teachers
  • Improving our programming and professional learning spaces
  • Modernizing our classrooms for 21st century learning

We can create an even safer and more secure environment in our school building thanks to updated security systems, door and window monitoring, electronic door locks and a storm shelter. We will also be able to better maintain our schools by addressing life safety and infrastructure needs such as mechanical systems, airflow, plumbing, bathrooms, sprinklers, electrical, relief, networking and wiring, hallways, asbestos abatement, drainage, stormwater management, and ADA compliance.

Fenton High School was named the 2019 AP District of the Year by the College Board. We will improve our programming and professional learning spaces so that every student continues to have the opportunity to succeed in whatever they choose. We will provide increased opportunities for students through optimized spaces dedicated to STEM, applied technologies, cooking, construction, health sciences, biomedicine, early learning, special education and life skills programming.

And we will be able to modernize and expand our classrooms. This will give us 21st century learning spaces with modern features to efficiently implement current and future programs, facilitate collaboration, and enable more individual and small group instruction. Additional and larger classrooms will provide more space for student collaboration, small group instruction, program growth to include more engaging student activities, and student health and movement.

Q: What was the role of the Community in developing this plan?
A: It was a real community plan. Fenton conducted 11 in-person forums, two scientific telephone surveys and three online surveys over six months. Across all vehicles, we received over 1,000 responses that helped shape the plan that is now on the ballot. Click here to browse our Community Engagement webpage.

Q: When is the referendum vote?
A: Mail-in ballots can be requested after March 30 by contacting the DuPage County Clerk’s Office. Early in-person voting is scheduled to begin June 13. The traditional in-person election day is June 28. The Fieldhouse at Fenton High School will be a polling place for the June 28 election.

Q: How much would the referendum cost me if approved by voters?
A: About $395 per year for a home worth $229,000, which is the average home value in District 100. Construction would take place in phases and debt would accrue as it went of construction, which means that tax payments would initially be lower and gradually increase. More information and an interactive tax estimator can be found on our Referendum Tax Information webpage (click here).

Q: When was the last time Fenton held a referendum?
A: The last referendum took place in 1975 and resulted in the construction of the auditorium, the adjoining wing of the two-storey classroom, the country house and adjoining classrooms for vocational education and technical.

Q: When was Fenton first built?
A: The main central parts of Fenton High School were built in 1955.

Q: What sporting events are not possible at Fenton?
A: Most soccer practices and all soccer matches take place at a rental facility. Likewise, our baseball teams have limited options to practice at Fenton and play all of their games off-campus on land leased by Fenton. Our tennis teams cannot organize tournaments on campus.

Q. Will bonds approved by referendum be used to cover salaries and benefits?
A. No. The bonds will only be used to finance necessary infrastructure projects. According to the law, these funds must only be used for this purpose, because the language of the referendum is legally binding. We will continue to fund salaries and benefits from our standard operating budget. All funds approved by the community for their school will be 100% invested in improving our school infrastructure.

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