Jefferson – Plan B – Facilities Master Plan

On January 31, 2018 the District presented to the board their “District Wide Facilities Category and Condition Ranking.”

2018_1_31 capital improve plan

For Jefferson to maintain the building with no addition or remodeling, it will cost $5,319,800 for paving, roofing, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, doors / hardware, windows, and other.

While, there is no doubt that building new will result in a newer, bigger, nicer facility.  Is it a “NEED” or a “WANT”?

To build a new building, the construction cost alone is estimated at $15 million.  Total costs will include:

  • design costs (most already spent)
  • $15M construction costs.
  • “debt services” or “lease interest”
  • “owner’s cost” – removal of old Jefferson, landscaping, furnishing the new building and storm water retention.

My guess is total cost will be at least $21 million.  (FOIA pending)

The total costs for “needs” at each of the CUSD 200 facilities according to the “District Wide Facilities Category and Condition Ranking.” (linked above):

Jefferson Early Learning Center $5,319,800
Bower Elementary School $6,217,600
Emerson Elementary School $1,338,700
Hawthorn Elementary School $1,742,900
Johnson Elementary School $3,037,500
Lincoln Elementary School $3,097,900
Longfellow Elementary School $1,911,500
Lowell Elementary School $5,626,700
Madison Elementary School $2,726,600
Pleasant Hill Elementary School $2,859,300
Sandburg Elementary School $1,242,400
Washington Elementary School $5,366,800
Whittier Elementary School $2,087,300
Wiesbrook Elementary School $1,260,300
Edison Middle School $12,611,500
Franklin Middle School $10,830,800
Hubble Middle School $0
Monroe Middle School $10,376,300
Wheaton North High school $6,836,800
Wheaton-Warrenville South High School $6,817,300
GRAND TOTAL $92,308,000


11 thoughts on “Jefferson – Plan B – Facilities Master Plan

  1. Thanks for the work you do advocating for our community. I just wanted to express two concerns I have about the upcoming referendum. (As an aside, I have yet to find the text for the referendum on the web. It seems as though it should be front and center on CUSD 200’s website.)
    – Because the funding for Jefferson will not be a mortgage or loan, we will not have any equity in the property until the final payment, at which time we’ll have 100% equity. This seems to introduce a bit of risk. What happens if we start missing payments ten years from now? I realize this is an unlikely scenario, but we’d be left with nothing.
    – I fear that the district could use the above point as leverage to raise our taxes in the future.


    1. The text was in the 9/20/2018 board packet:

      Shall the Board of Education of Wheaton Warrenville Community Unit School District Number 200, DuPage County, Illinois, build and equip a new early childhood center without levying a separate, special property tax to finance the costs thereof?

      I’m sure it is a true statement as written. However if you remove the words “separate, special” it most likely becomes false. We expect them to try and issue new working cash bonds that will raise future taxes. See


  2. It’s a need. The school is 60 years old and not ADA compliant. If they just maintained the building they would not be able to consolidate the school at one location. Two-thirds of this school is special needs and it is a state mandate that requires the district to begin providing services to children who are identified with a special need or disability on their 3rd birthday.


    1. The district has buildings older than Jefferson – like Lowell, which just celebrated it’s 100th year – buildings that were renewed and that are now ADA compliant.


      1. If they renewed the school they wouldn’t be able to consolidate at one location. That poses a problem. Please take a tour of the school if you haven’t seen it. Like I said two-thirds are special needs and the school is maxed out. They need more room for special equipment, etc. The gym cannot be fully utilized as well as other parts of Jefferson. This is what is best for our community and there will be no tax increase.


  3. Janet Shaw has never stepped one foot inside of Jefferson School, yet she knows all about it.

    As stated in the Referendum, this must be done WITHOUT LEVYING A SEPARATE, SPECIAL PROPERTY TAX to finance the costs. That means that it must be done with planned/expected funding sources. If you only care about money and not the children (No one wants to admit it openly..but that’s OK….especially…if yours are grown and you’re retired), here’s why you should care because it affects YOUR money:

    1) District 200 Schools are consistently in top 10 in the State. That means your property is more desirable than most other places in the state to anyone with kids! More desirable things are worth more money. Your house is worth more and you’ll make more money. Clearly our Board and teachers are doing SOMETHING right to keep this level of rating. Are they perfect?… Who is? Should we question and double check what they do, sure.

    2) Compliance and costs: The fact is that the school was built in 1958 and services a large percentage of special needs children. It does not meet the needs of those students, is not compliant with law, and costs much more than it should to operate, maintain and repair. The Jefferson building is an embarrassment to our community. It is actually REQUIRED by law that our District provide for special needs students.
    Unlike many of the posters’ beliefs on this site and others, Jefferson’s program is NOT Optional. This not a “WANT OR NEED” as Janet Shaw likes to frame it. Failure to provide a safe and suitable facility could actually subject our District to a lawsuit (i.e. costs you money). It is a problem that must be resolved….SOMEHOW!!!

    By way of example, earlier this year, the school management proactively tested a few water coolers in the building for lead pipe issues. Although they were not required to do so, and the new regulations were not yet in effect (think Flint water), the tests were completed out of an abundance of caution. Some showed excess and dangerous levels of lead in the water (later determined as stemming from the water cooler internal pipes). These coolers were taken out of service.

    But for this proactive step by school management, developing children at a high-risk level could have been exposed subjecting them to danger and our District to lawsuits and costs. The question is, what is the next potential and unseen risk that could be waiting in this ancient building that could impact children and the bottom line, and will they catch it?

    A new building can help save this kind of potential expense and avoid risks that cost you money. I doubt Janet Shaw and her shadow group will cover the expenses for the rest of us.

    3) Long-term investment: Science and facts show early education produces more effective learning later on, especially for those with special needs, a key constituent of Jefferson. This enables the District to save money and efforts later on via less teaching tools, less staff needed and infrastructure required. According to recent District 200 records, 80% of special needs kids starting at age 3 at Jefferson transition to REGULAR kindergarten. Regular Kindergarten costs @$2,600 per student. 20% continue onto more intensive services that cost @$20,000 per student. If ALL the Jefferson students did not begin special needs schooling until kindergarten, that cost would be enormous. At even 60 students, x a savings of $17,400 per year, that’s $1 Million per year savings…coincidentally….the same payment for the lease purchase plan for the new Jefferson.

    The kids brains are the most fungible when young, so early intervention is best. This is similar to the CHIP programs providing overall healthcare for children, which both political parties agree is both correct and cost-effective downstream.

    As Janet Shaw knows, the option to rehab the current building has been considered and rejected after much discussion in the past 5 years as not being cost-effective and efficient to resolve all issues as compared to a new building on the same property. Sometimes houses that are 100 years old are fixed up…and sometimes they are knocked down and start over. Lowell was a different building.


  4. From the Communications Department….

    I know ..I know…they can’t be trusted….it’s all a conspiracy…only you are correct about numbers and facts.

    Oh that reminds me. You have often complained about the communications department, I believe stating Communications director is a new position since 2010. Position has existed since the 90’s. Most Districts this size have one.


  5. It is a disgraceful use of taxpayer money in Illinois to hire a spin doctor to advance one-sided propaganda supporting profligate spending by a public taxing district.
    Yes it happens all over Illinois.
    Look at Illinois.


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