CM 201-U Board of Education
Nelson Albrecht, PresidentCheryl Roop, Vice PresidentJeanine Galbraith, SecretaryMaurice Brown, MemberBrenda K. Mitchell, MemberWilliam Sawallisch, MemberSandra Walters, Member
Dr. Kara Coglianese, Superintendent

TO OUR STAKEHOLDERS

In order to keep you informed throughout this process, frequent updates will be made to this page as we draw closer to the April 6th referendum. Older information, options, and amounts may no longer be relevant. Please continue to visit this page to receive the latest updates and information.

Published : February 24, 2021

Virtual Community Forum
March 9th & 16th, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Submit your question about the April 6th Referendum by March 4, 2021 (12 p.m.)

Hear your questions answered live on the district’s YouTube Channel at our Virtual Community Forum.

Published : February 4, 2021

Published : January 29, 2021

A school district mailer regarding the April 6, 2021 referendum that residents may have received today contains an incorrect URL to the site where community members can find absentee voting information. The correct URL is: https://elections.il.gov/electionoperations/votingbymail.aspx

Published : January 19, 2021

LEtter to Parents

January 19, 2021

Dear District Families,

At a special meeting this month, the Crete-Monee School District 201-U Board of Education approved a referendum question that will appear on the ballot Tuesday, April 6.

If approved, the referendum would allow the District to address our most urgent needs, create more equitable learning environments, and provide our students with greater security. It would provide the District with $65.25 million toward the building of a new elementary school in Crete and a new elementary school in University Park.

The District would also use existing funds to maintain, repair, and equip our existing school buildings, including Monee and Talala Elementary Schools, our high school, our middle school, our Early Learning Center, and Monee Educational Center.

The proposal of a referendum question is the latest step in the District’s strategic planning effort, which led to a Future Forward plan that includes a bold vision to raise expectations for all students, increase student enrollment, and ensure all students are ready for their futures.

The April referendum represents the first of a multi-phase plan to address CM201-U’s facility needs. In all, the District has about $99 million in facility needs—nearly $34 million more than what the school board is asking voters to cover through the referendum.

If the referendum is approved, the District will seek state legislative approval to issue the bonds with a 30-year payback period, as opposed to the current 20-year payback period. Taking this approach would enable the District to stretch out the payment an extra 10 years, thereby preventing an increase to the annual debt payment of the District, which benefits the taxpayers. We would not move forward with the referendum projects without approval from the state legislature.

We look forward to sharing more information and answering community members’ questions in the weeks and months ahead. For further information on CM201-U’s facility needs and the April 6 referendum, please visit https://sites.google.com/cm201u.org/futureforward2021referendum/home.

As always, thank you for your support of our schools and the students we serve.

Sincerely,
Crete-Monee School District Board of Education

Nelson Albrecht, President
Cheryl Roop, Vice President
Jeanine Galbraith, Secretary
Maurice Brown, Member
Brenda K. Mitchell, Member
William Sawallisch, Member
Sandra Walters, Member

Published January 14, 2021

BOARD FOCUSES ON FINDING SOLUTIONS

On Tuesday, April 6, 2021, residents of the Crete-Monee School District 201-U will vote on a referendum question. If approved, the referendum would allow the district to address our most urgent needs, create more equitable learning environments, and provide our students with greater security—all while providing our taxpayers with great value.


An approved referendum would provide the district with $65.25 million toward the building of a new elementary school in Crete and a new elementary school in University Park. The district would use existing funds to maintain, repair, and equip our existing school buildings, including Monee and Talala Elementary Schools, Crete-Monee High School, Crete-Monee Middle School, the Early Learning Center, and Monee Education Center.

A Multi-Phase Approach


On January 6, the Board of Education came to a consensus on a multi-phase approach to addressing the district’s needs.


The April referendum represents the first of this multi-phase plan to address CM201-U’s facility needs. In all, the district has about $99 million in facility needs—nearly $34 million more than what the board is asking voters to cover through the referendum.


Phase I: Referendum to Construct 2 Elementary Schools

If the referendum is approved, the district will seek state legislative approval to issue the bonds with a 30-year payback period, as opposed to the current 20-year payback period. Taking this approach would enable the district to stretch out the payment an extra 10 years, thereby preventing an increase to the annual debt payment of the district, which benefits the taxpayers.


Phase II: Seeking Legislative Approval to Extend Payment

The district would seek this legislative approval later in spring 2021, marking the second phase of our plan to address facility needs. While we feel confident approval will be granted from the legislature to extend our repayment from 20 to 30 years, if it is not, the district will not move forward with the referendum projects.


Phase III: Remaining Projects

As the third and final phase, the Board of Education plans to sell bonds to raise the funds necessary to address the remaining $34 million in facility needs. This would take place within the next several years.


Prior to each phase, voters will have the opportunity to review each proposed project before the district borrows any funds. The process, known as a petition period, gives voters the ability to allow these projects to move forward or require them to stop.


Published December 1, 2020

Help us plan for the future!

Over the past several years, the Crete-Monee School District 201-U administration and Board of Education have been working with the community to examine our schools' facilities needs and find potential solution. As a next step we are asking for your input and feedback through a survey.

The District and board will use the information gathered through this survey to target possible solutions that balance our students' needs with those of our community. It will also inform the board's referendum planning process.

The anonymous survey will be open through December 15, 2020.

Each adult in our community is invited to participate. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Addressing Facilities Needs in CM 201-U Schools

Despite its buildings being well maintained, the Crete-Monee School District 201-U has urgent facility needs that must be addressed now. Our facilities range in age, with the oldest school built in 1928 and its newest in 2007. Despite efforts to maintain these facilities over the years, the buildings have outlived their useful lives. The oldest schools have become extremely difficult and expensive to maintain and are energy inefficient.

While our schools remain safe, they regularly experience flooding, mold, and extremes in temperature—from cold in the winter to extreme heat in the fall and spring. They also have old plumbing that has restricted our students' ability to drink the water. Only two buildings have air conditioning.

Moreover, our buildings are exceedingly inefficient, with our oldest having single-pane windows, original boilers, and old and outdated lighting fixtures. Through a District-commissioned Physical Facility Assessment and Report in 2017, the cost to repair and enhance exterior siding, bricks, windows, roof, and mechanical systems, such as boilers, air handlers, and electrical systems would be approximately $49.2 million. The report also indicated that the district has an estimated $8.7 million worth of Life Safety projects (i.e., $134,700 at Balmoral Elementary, $1,042,800 at Coretta Scott King Magnet School, $3,481,483 at Crete Elementary School) that should be addressed immediately.

Finding Solutions

Although our school buildings have served generations of students, a modern curriculum and methods of teaching and learning now rely on the extensive use of technology, large and small classroom spaces, and different classroom configurations.

Engaging the Community

Recently, the district has engaged in a comprehensive strategic planning effort, resulting in a Future Forward plan that includes a bold vision to raise expectations for all students, increase student enrollment, and ensure all students are ready for their futures.

Efforts have included bringing together a development team that included an architecture firm, a construction firm, and a school finance firm. It has also involved community leaders from across the district, community members, board members, and district staff members.

Options Under Consideration

The Board of Education is considering two different options that, if implemented, would address the district’s urgent facility needs at different levels. Both options would allow the district to have safe and efficient facilities, while investing in a maintenance and replacement process to protect the district's assets and taxpayers' investment in future years.

Option #1

If this option were selected by the board and passed as part of a referendum by voters, it would:

  • Build a new elementary school on the site of the abandoned Sixth Grade Center and Dome, combining students from Crete Elementary School and Balmoral Elementary School. Afterward, both Balmoral and Crete Elementary Schools would be demolished.

  • Add additional classrooms at the middle school.

  • Build a new Coretta Scott King School in University Park at a site to be determined.

  • Address the district's most urgent life safety projects not addressed by the new schools.

  • Add air conditioning to the buildings that do not currently have it.

This option would cost approximately $99,950,600. The district would increase efficiencies by having one fewer building.

Option #2

If this option were selected by the board and passed as part of a referendum by voters, it would:

  • Construct a curricular pathways addition to the high school, creating more scholastic options for students in alignment with the district’s strategic plan.

  • Move the scholastic and extracurricular activities of Monee Education Center (MEC) to the new curricular pathways addition at the high school. Afterward, MEC would be sold or demolished.

  • Expand the Early Learning Center, creating opportunities for more students.

  • Create career pathways that are consistent with the district’s strategic plan.

  • Build a new elementary school on the site of the abandoned Sixth Grade Center and Dome, combining students from Crete Elementary School and Balmoral Elementary School. Afterward, both Crete and Balmoral Elementary Schools would be demolished.

  • Add additional classrooms at the middle school.

  • Build a new Coretta Scott King School in University Park at a site to be determined.

  • Address the district's most urgent life safety projects not addressed by the new schools.

  • Add air conditioning to the buildings that do not currently have it.

This option would cost approximately $116,722,600. The district would increase efficiencies by having two fewer buildings.