District 86 voters reject $76 million referendum
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On April 5, Hinsdale District 86 voters rejected a $76 million dollar referendum that would have added improvements to both Central and Hinsdale South to help alleviate problems such as overcrowding and problems at the Central swimming pool.
“I’m disappointed that the referendum didn’t pass because we have one of the best swimming traditions in the state and I think we should have a pool and swimming facility that reflects that,” said Zack Elliot, junior.
The measure was defeated with 74 percent of voters voting no. Those who voted no who spoke in a Chicago Tribune article had concerns such as the cost of the improvements, the fact that most of the improvements would go to Central, the improvements benefitting too little of the overall student body, and voters weren’t interested in paying more money to public schools.
One of the biggest issues that the writers of the referendum attempted to address was the issue of overcrowding at Central. Around 65% of students in District 86 go to Central, while only 35% attend South. One cause for this discrepancy is the “buffer zone”, which is an area where residents can choose to send their children to either Central or South, with most choosing Central. Earlier this year, the District chose to keep the buffer zone.
“I hoped they would try and add some more classrooms because our school is already pretty crowded as it is,” said Justin Bradshaw, sophomore. “A lot of my classes have almost 30 or even more students in them, and if there were more classrooms it wouldn’t feel as cramped and teachers wouldn’t have to change classrooms throughout the day.”
Moving forward, many of these problems at both Central and South will continue to persist, and many students are predicting that another referendum will be put forth with the new board being elected in the near future.
“I don’t think the district has a choice in a lot of these issues,” said Joey Bogdan, junior. “I think that the district will eventually have to make a new plan to solve overcrowding and the swimming pool issues because they will only get worse in the future.”