In Kaneland Community Unit School District #302, our mission is to graduate all students college, career, and community ready by providing the best educational experience for our students.
As one of the largest geographic school districts in northern Illinois serving nine different municipalities, Kaneland is the heart of our community. Our community has Kaneland Pride, for good reason. It’s a special thing to be a Kaneland Knight. Kaneland creates a school experience for our students that is unmatched in any other district.
However, Kaneland Community Unit School District #302 faces significant challenges on the immediate horizon.
Our buildings need improvement, especially our high school. What should be the capstone school for our district is instead challenged by outdated facilities, with classrooms still functioning as they were over 60 years ago, infrastructure and mechanicals past their useful life, students using high school hallways as workspaces during class, and athletic facilities that hold our students back.
We are doing the best we can to improve our facilities with our limited budget. Our Board of Education and administration manage our funds responsibly, maximizing the student impact of every dollar. In fact, we spend half the state average on General Administration. But with capital needs of $19 million over the next 5 years, and an available annual budget of $800,000-$1.2 million for these expenses, we are forced to prioritize basic life safety and infrastructure projects. This leaves little to no opportunity to pursue the major upgrades our community has requested.
Our students deserve better. They deserve the same opportunities afforded to children in surrounding districts with updated academic programming and athletic facilities.
To achieve these improvements, our community collaborated on a plan for the future of our school district. Together, we reviewed our facility needs and identified the most important projects to pursue. Nearly 1,400 members of the community provided input on this consensus plan that solves the problems our high school faces. The district then worked to reduce the cost of the plan, saving taxpayers over 22%.
This consensus $57.5 million plan will make significant improvements to Kaneland High School. It will now appear on our ballots for approval in the upcoming April 4th election. If successful, the referendum will allow the district to: •Make Our High School Building Safer and More Efficient •Modernize Learning Environments for Students & Teachers •Provide Students More Resources and Improved Athletic Facilities
The referendum will lead to a safer and more efficient high school building by addressing significant infrastructure and mechanical needs in our aging building, including roofs, boilers, air handlers and ducts, water heaters, air conditioning, chillers, plumbing fixtures, and maintenance facilities. It will also improve safety and circulation by reconfiguring our campus site to locate facilities, entrances, and parking lots in more optimal locations. It will also improve security by providing a new, more secure entrance.
We will also be able to modernize learning environments for our students and teachers. The referendum will modernize classrooms and provide 21st-century learning spaces with modern features, furniture, and technology to effectively implement our current and future curriculum. It will improve science labs and libraries. And it will create a Personalized Learning Commons to support small group and independent learning, including a Maker Space.
The referendum will also allow us to better support our students. We will be able to provide even more support for students in accessible optimized spaces, including improved special education, leading to healthier students with stronger social and emotional skills. We will be able to provide our students with improved athletic facilities, including a new stadium with an expanded 8-lane track, synthetic turf field, additional seating, bathrooms, and parking. We will also be able to renovate and expand our tennis courts, relocate our baseball/softball fields into a new complex, and improve locker rooms.
These improvements will provide a better school experience for all our students and teachers, which benefits every member of our Kaneland community. Students will have a richer, more well-rounded experience in a welcoming and collaborative environment. This will create a renewed sense of Kaneland Pride in our school facilities.
"Every child deserves a champion -- an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be."~ Rita Pierson