Bristol School to seek approval for $5.3 million building project referendum

The blue block on this plan shows the proposed location of the new addition.

The blue block on this plan shows the proposed location of the new addition.

The Bristol School District will be seeking approval for a $5.3 million building project referendum on the April 2 ballot.

Resolutions approving the general obligation bonds in the amount of $5.3 million and authorizing the referendum passed 4-1 at a special board meeting Thursday night. Board member Lynn Keller was the only dissenting  vote for both resolutions.

Ultimately issuing the bonds will require the approval through a referendum.

The $5.3 million budget for the project, which will add new classrooms on the building and renovate some existing areas, was selected because it was the maximum amount that would result in no tax increase for district property owners based on projections prepared by a financial consultant. That’s because it would extend the district’s current level of debt ahead for the 20-year term of the bonds, if approved.

Architects GreenAssociates of Deerfield, Illinois presented plans that showed a new wing to be added to the building off of the southeast end of the building, near the band room.  The addition configuration shown Thursday showed a ground level floor and lower level with eight standard classrooms, new music and art rooms, practice rooms between the  new music room and the old band room, two special ed rooms and a large storage room (on the lower level). The current art room was set to be renovated for science and two bathrooms on the first floor of the west side of the building were also slated for renovation.

However, during the public comment and discussion parts of the meeting, other needs — especially the need for larger bathrooms upstairs on the west side of the building — came up and school officials said they would try to work them into the budget.

During their deliberations, school board members seemed torn between spending a little more and getting a few more features in the project and being able to hold the line on no tax increase. The district had a projection from its consultant that said, for example, that borrowing $6.055 million would increase property taxes for a home valued at $200,000 about $18 a year.

“This is agonizing,” said Keller, who ultimately wanted the board to go higher.

Board member Katie O’Neal also expressed concern that the district, by settling for $5.3 million might not get all that is needed out of the project.

“I’m comfortable with putting it in the hands of the voter,” said board member Amy Hanson.

“I think we can get what we need and what we want,” said board member Katie Horton, saying she was confident district administrator Gale Ryczek would find ways to work priorities — like the second floor bathrooms — into the final design.

Board President Todd Becker said  “I’ve done my own research with some seniors. They said you know what, we’re for education, but we can’t afford any more (taxes). We have to be sensitive to that. There are people in Bristol who can’t afford more.”

The addition should raise the capacity of the building by 200 students, Ryczek said.

The floor plan presented Thursday night (click for a larger view).

The floor plan presented Thursday night (click for a larger view).







  1. true, it wont increase taxes, says:

    it will just make the payment longer and the over all amount out the pocket of the district all that much greater. $5 million does not just get found in an attic. It is the result of hard work. Basically the taxpayers are being put on PAY THE MINIMUM which goes on forever and the final payment will never arrive. I hope the people see this and vote no.

    How much of this is because of open enrollment increases and 4K?

  2. Say "No Tax Increase" Real Fast says:

    The schools administrator said last fall that they had to get this done ‘quickly’ so that they could get the referendum on the next election cycle. This was so the new bonds could be sold and on the budget before the old bonds retire and the taxpayers would not see a home tax bill without a bond payment. Remember that quote? I sure do. You can say it any way you want but, 5.3 million is a tax increase any way you look at it. If it looks like a duck…

  3. Jake says:

    Besides the tax increase and such……WHY IS IT THAT THE OUTSOURCE COMES FROM “ILLINOIS” and not Wisconsin??????

  4. Confused says:

    Vote for the referendum and vote for the kids of the village! This will NOT RAISE TAXES ONE RED CENT! They will stay the same. The school needs the space for the existing student body and for future growth.
    Don’t be shortsighted on this, vote YES for the KIDS!

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