District 203 - World Class
Naperville Community Unit School District 203
Naperville, Illinois

Monday, April 21, 2014
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Home // Buildings and Grounds // Building the Future

Building the Future logoBuilding the Future

See these web pages for details regarding each specific facilities project:
   Mill Street Renovations and Additions
   Naperville North Improvements
   Ann Reid Early Childhood Center Construction
   Naperville Central Major Renovation and Additions

Click here for a larger
look at construction progress in NCHS!

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Planning and Approval Process
Project Presentations to the Board of Education
Facilities Program Advisory Committee
Athletic Field Space Issues
Architects and Construction Managers

District 203's facilities referendum, proposed by the Board of Education in December of 2007, was approved by 59% of those who cast a ballot in the February 5, 2008, General Primary Election. Voter turnout was strong (about 50%), compared with previous primaries.

The $43 million referendum is part of a $114.9 million plan to address the District's most pressing facilities needs, most notably a major $87.7 million renovation to Naperville Central High School; a new $11 million Early Childhood Center; an addition and renovation to Mill Street Elementary at a total of $7.3 million; $5.2 million spent addressing outside traffic safety and the Naperville North pool inadequacies; and $.7 million for safety modifications at Prairie and Ranch View elementary schools, as well as at Washington Junior High.Touch the Future logo

D203 Decision for the Future logoThis site will provide information and updates, as available, related to the building plan and process. Please see D203 Decision for the Future and Facilities Community Engagement-Touch the Future for detailed background information.

Planning and Approval Process

Construction Phasing and Green Initiatives

On February 11, 2008, the Board of Education discussed the following information, prepared by architects Wight & Company:

Preliminary Construction Phasing and Sequencing Strategy, NCHS, 2-11-2008 (PDF, 1 MB)

As part of the process of constructing a new Early Childhood Center, Wight presented District 203 with a summary of USGBC/LEED (U. S. Green Building Council/Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification guidelines on April 7, 2008. The link to a PDF of their presentation is below:

Introduction to Sustainable Design: Turning "Building the Future" Green (PDF, 2.5 MB)

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Building Projects

The District is most grateful to the community for allowing these improvements to be made to our schools. In the last two weeks of February, our architects have focused on conducting land surveys which are required as part of the building approval process. Architects are also meeting with staff members at the targeted schools to gather additional information as they begin more detailed design work. At the District level, staff is working on developing the Request for Proposal (RFP) for one or more construction managers to oversee the various school improvement projects.

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Public Input on Martin-Mitchell Properties

On Tuesday, February 26, District 203 staff participated in a community forum regarding the Martin-Mitchell property. Although the decision to renovate Naperville Central has been made, the Martin-Mitchell property holders continue to collaborate on how to best use and share the land. The school district has a dual focus: to work with Naper Settlement on parking, storm water, and bus drop-off and pick-up points; and to collaborate with the Naperville Park District on additional field space, the future renovation of Knoch Park, and possible joint use of a portion of the garden plot area for athletic fields. At the meeting Tuesday, community input was solicited regarding the entire Martin-Mitchell parcel. A report on the citizen feedback and the planning process will be compiled and posted on the City of Naperville’s website, www.naperville.il.us. As the concepts are further reviewed, there will be additional opportunities for citizen input.

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District 203 Receives Aaa Bond Rating from Standard & Poor's

On Wednesday, April 9, Naperville School District 203 locked in interest rates for the first phase of funding, as part of its "Building the Future" plan. The District received ten bids for $10,000,000 of general obligation bonds, a portion of the $43 million that was authorized by referendum in February.

The average interest rate of the winning bidder was 3.95% and the underwriter will pay a premium $39,000 for the bonds, reducing the interest rate to approximately 3.918%. "The District is able to take advantage of a very aggressive small-issue, bank-qualified market because of its strong credit rating," stated John Repsholdt of Ehlers & Associates, financial advisor to the District. According to Repsholdt, "the bank qualified market is a 'seller’s' market, as banks are seeking very strong credits which are in short supply."

District 203 recently achieved a triple A (Aaa) from Standard and Poor’s, the highest/best rating assigned to a unit of government debt. According to S&P, its rating and outlook reflects the "expectation that, with the help of its strong financial management, the District will maintain strong financial operations and strong reserves. The District’s participation in the diverse Chicago metropolitan area economy supports the outlook."

The rating is a reflection of the community and the management of the District. Moody’s Investors Service upgraded its rating of the District to "Aa1" from "Aa2" - which represents its conservative one-step-at-a-time practice. The District is now just one level away from a Moody’s triple (Aaa) - its highest and best rating.

How much did the taxpayers of District 203 save because of its excellent credit ratings? "About $200,000 in interest costs plus $70,000 in bond insurance when compared to comparable bank qualified issues," Repsholdt noted.

Please see Ehler's bond sale report for complete details.

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Project Presentations to Board of Education

May, 2008 Presentation

On Monday, May 05, 2008, architects from Wight & Company updated the District 203 Board of Education on the current status of facilities plans at Mill Street Elementary School, the planned Early Childhood Center, Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools. This presentation was recorded by NCTV17 and is available for viewing at http://www.nctv17.com (please check listings). A copy of the Wight & Company PowerPoint presentation is available below:

Building the Future Progress Update - May 1, 2008 (PDF,  4.7 MB)

In addition, Chief Information Officer Craig Williams, who is also an architect by training, provided an overview with answers to the following questions:

What is happening with facilities?

  • The decision was made to wait on architectural design work until the community approved District 203’s bond referendum.
  • As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars were NOT spent on design in advance of the February 5 vote.

What has happened since the referendum passed?

  • Weekly meetings with architects.
  • Dozens of meetings with users (staff) and parents to make sure design is right.
  • Meetings with the City of Naperville and DuPage County to review and coordinate plans.
  • Active outreach to Naper Settlement and Naperville Park District to collaborate.
  • "Triple A" (Aaa) S & P bond rating — saved $270,000 due to eligibility for better rates and lower insurance costs.
  • Finance Advisory Committee Review: Recommendation to delay (abate) first year of levy to repay facilities bonds (2009).
  • Board of Education members serving on various Oversight Committees.
  • Facilities Program Advisory Committee formed (parents and citizens, see below).
  • Construction Manager (CM) selection in process (May/June Board approval).
  • Consultant Pat Sumrow will continue to assist as an owner’s representative.
  • Craig Williams, CIO, will also be serving as the coordinator of community outreach.
  • Former Director of Buildings & Grounds Ralph Weaver was recently named the new Director of Facilities and Construction.

Update as of May 5, 2008

  • Plans presented are still in DRAFT.
  • Future unique learning opportunities related to construction are planned for students and citizens.
  • Mill Street Elementary will be the first project sent to "deep design" (in the next two weeks). Work will begin on the additions in late fall of 2008.
  • May 5 presentation by architects taped for broadcast on NCTV17 and future inclusion on this web page.

What are the guiding principles going forward?

  • Improving projects with staff and parent input.
  • Stewarding resources effectively, i.e., "sticking to the budget."
  • Continuing to meet the challenges (small sites, coordination with multiple groups, storm water detention). Schedule will be finalized once CM is selected.
  • Reviewing frequently, with oversight by Board members and citizens advisory committee.

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July, 2008 Presentation

On July 21, 2008, Wight & Company presented two schematic designs for the Naperville North pool to the Board of Education on July 21 (see link below). The design schematic for the entire North project - synthetic turf, parking lot reconfiguration and pool renovation - will be submitted to the Board next month for approval, along with plans for the Naperville Central project. The Board previously approved the Mill Street Elementary School schematic and on July 21 the design schematic for District 203's new Early Childhood Center (ECC) was received by the Board with no major questions or objections.

According to Ian Lamp, whose company is serving as Construction Manager for the ECC, the plan is to go out to bid in January/February of 2009, bring a recommendation to the Board February/March, with plans for an April 2009 groundbreaking, and occupancy by the summer of 2010. Copies of the Wight documents are below.

Naperville North Pool Design Schematic (PDF, 570 KB)
Early Childhood Center - July 2008 Presentation (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Mill Street Elementary Design Schematic (PDF, 1.8 MB)

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October, 2008 Presentation

Architects from Wight & Company's design team led a presentation of all four facilities projects at the Board of Education's October 20, 2008, meeting. Along with the update, Wight sought approval for the Schematic Design book for Naperville Central High School, and the Design Development books for the Early Childhood Center and Naperville North High School. Construction Manager Ian Lamp reported on construction progress for Mill Street Elementary School. Wight's presentation is linked below in PDF format.

Facilities Update - October 20, 2008 (PDF, 8 MB)

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After October, 2008

See individual project web pages for specific project information after October, 2008:

Mill Street Renovations and Additions
Naperville North Improvements
Early Childhood Center Construction
Naperville Central Major Renovation and Additions

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Facilities Program Advisory Committee

Members of the 2008 Facilities Program Advisory Committee are:

~ Anne Gary, General Home & School President and Central Parent
~ Becky Stevenson, Mill Street Parent
~ Beth Ashley, Build the Future Committee co-chair
~ Chuck Schlabach, Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation President
~ Debbie Jones, Mill Street Parent
~ Dee Dee Porter, Central Parent
~ Doug Wilson, Facilities Task Force chairman
~ Faith Behr, Communications
~ Jim Dennison, Build the Future Committee co-chair
~ Judy Peters, Early Childhood Center Parent
~ Kathy Hendrickson, North Parent
~ Leeann Gosset, Mill Street Parent
~ Missy Wichhart, Mill Street Parent
~ Nancy Couch, Central Parent
~ Kevin Havens, Wight - Director of Design

District representatives include Dr. Alan Leis, Craig Williams, Nina Menis, Melea Smith and Deanne Fulner. Other members of the Wight team include Paul Cureton - Civil Engineer, Mike Lopez - Project Manager and Ray Prokop - Project Executive.

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Athletic Field Space Issues

The Naperville Park District and Naperville School District 203 have a long-standing partnership that benefits the community by sharing park and school facilities. District 203 provides its indoor and outdoor facilities for Park District programming after school and on weekends; in turn, the Park District provides fields and tennis courts for use by District 203 for athletic practices, games and PE classes. Due to the Naperville Cemetery’s plans to reclaim land currently being leased as athletic fields, some District 203 programs must be relocated either to Knoch Park or elsewhere. Details are available on the Athletic Fields page.

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Architects and Construction Manager

Wight & Company - Architectural Firm

Wight & Company a leader in integrated solutions for the built environment, was chosen as architects for these District 203 facilities projects. Its professional staff of more than 150 specialists has been providing clients with architecture and engineering services since 1939, and design-build and construction management services since 1994. As the architect for one of the first LEED certified buildings in the country, the design-builder of the first LEED Certified school in Illinois, and the architect for one of a handful of LEED Platinum buildings in the state, Wight is committed to green design principles. It maintains offices in downtown Chicago, Darien, IL, and South Bend, IN. For more information, visit www.wightco.com.

Lamp Incorporated - Construction Manager

The firm of Lamp Incorporated will function as construction manager for the Mill Street School, Naperville North High School and Early Childhood Center projects. With ever changing requirements of the building process and increasing demands of new technologies, Lamp Incorporated has an expanded professional and operational staff to provide unified service throughout the entire construction process. Lamp provides a skilled, experienced team, combined with a strong record of performance, repeatedly demonstrating that they can produce and complete quality building projects on time and within budget.

From site selection through building occupancy, Lamp Incorporated offers clients broad expertise in the total building process. Its integrated, single source method of total responsibility and control is the hallmark of the firm. Whether through a design-build, construction management, or general contracting approach, Lamp’s experience spans a variety of successful quality projects. Principals of the Lamp firm work directly with clients, no matter what elements of the building process are required. This approach affords the benefit of direct communication for cost-effective and efficient building projects, from simple renovations and small additions to large corporate facilities. For more information, visit www.lampinc.net.

IHC Construction Companies

IHC Construction Companies, LLC is an established construction firm celebrating 103 years of service in Northern Illinois. IHC will be handling the Naperville Central project for District 203. Ranked among industry peers as an ENR Top 400 Contractor, it is one of the area’s oldest employers with an average of 250 dedicated construction professionals.

A solid foundation of construction experience and commitment to excellence has enabled the company to offer creative solutions with a high level of industry knowledge and expertise. Whether new construction, additions to an existing facility, or extensive renovation work, IHC provides a comprehensive portfolio of services from pre-construction to occupancy.

The integrity and dedication of seasoned project management professionals offers the construction savvy for the most challenging of projects, which is evidenced in the long-term relationships with their clients and industry professionals.

In addition to building K12 educational facilities, IHC also serves higher education, institutional, industrial, office, plant and process, heavy highway and telecommunication markets. Different project delivery methods - construction management, general contracting and design build – are provided according to the client’s needs. 
Corporate offices are based in Elgin, IL. For additional information, please visit www.ihcconstruction.com.

Good News Regarding Facilities Financing

Based on the latest economic information, it appears that District 203 may be in the unique position in 2009 of being able to serve our students, while continuing to be responsible stewards of taxpayers’ dollars. Specifically, the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) value that is used in the tax cap formula to determine the 2009 tax bills came in this year at 4.1%. While the CPI can fluctuate dramatically from month to month, that number is higher than the average of the last several years and higher than the number used in our long-range financial projections. The result will be greater revenues for District 203 in 2009 than had been projected. As a result, the District administration is recommending that the Board of Education consider accepting less money from taxpayers in 2009 than was authorized.

To garner citizen input, this idea has been reviewed by the members of the Finance Advisors Committee, volunteer community members with strong financial backgrounds. That group, after reviewing multiple options, concurred with the staff recommendation. Likewise, this proposal will be reviewed by the Board of Education as part of the March 3 work session on the 2009 budget.

If this recommendation is ultimately approved by the Board of Education, for the average homeowner this means that the District would NOT take the first year of the approved bond levy, eliminating the $82 tax increase for the average homeowner in 2009. This action would also allow the overall total tax rate to go down that year.

Consideration of this proposal is based on the commitment made to voters during the referendum process in asking for no more than $43 million in bonds as part of our $114.9 million facilities plan. By not taking the additional money authorized for the facilities bond in 2009, the District is taking less in taxes from property owners than would be allowed, without diluting or delaying the projects that were approved or harming our long-term financial projections. Whether or not this action will be possible in any of the remaining 19 years of the bond is uncertain at this time.

Both the citizens' Finance Advisors Committee and District staff believe this approach is a fiscally responsible option that focuses on the need to be both sensitive to our uncertain economic climate, while accomplishing the goal of the referendum - to make much needed improvements to our facilities.

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