We are happy to share an exciting update for the future of Central 301 – a future that impacts everyone.
At Central 301, we take pride in ensuring that all our students graduate ready to be successful in college and careers, equipping them with the necessary skills to transition into the workplace.
Our students excel both academically and athletically. Being one of the best school districts and communities in the entire state means people want to be here. We’ve been growing steadily for decades and enrollment is continuing to rise into the future. Every one of our seven schools is at or near capacity, and we’ve had to utilize mobile units at each of our elementary schools and the high school, which costs instructional time, school financial resources and creates the potential for safety concerns.
Over the past year, our community has come together to collaborate on the best solution to our growth challenges, and last night the Board of Education voted to proceed with a referendum on the March 19 ballot seeking voter approval for a proposed community plan to solve our significant space issues.
The $195 million referendum plan is not just a number; it’s a comprehensive plan to ensure our district’s growth is managed for the next 18 years. It includes:
- Building a new, larger high school, at a newly purchased site located at 09N636 Illinois Route 47, Elgin, to accommodate current and future high school students
- Moving all middle school students to the current Central High School, expanded with a 20-classroom addition
- Converting Prairie Knolls Middle School into a grade school
- Transitioning Central Middle School to house early childhood programs
In addition, the Board voted last night to purchase a new site on Route 47 which will provide a benefit to the community for generations to come. We have strategically acquired a prime property along a major thoroughfare, ensuring seamless access to our Central campus on Rocket Hill and laying the groundwork for future expansion opportunities. In response to specific concerns raised by a subset of our community regarding the Rohrsen Road property – related to floodplain, water usage, railroad safety, and traffic increase – we have made the decision to shed this property, emphasizing the commitment to safety and sustainability. These decisions not only address immediate challenges but also position us for dynamic responsive growth.
We are committed to the consensus plan. The district is investing $15 million from our fund balance to cover the addition at the current high school. We have scheduled new bonds to take effect only after current bonds are paid off, limiting the impact to taxpayers to just a $141 a year increase for a home valued at $336,800, (our average homeowner) starting in 2027.
If successful, this plan will help us improve safety throughout our district, especially with the elimination of mobile classrooms. Our buildings will continue to be modernized to educate students how they learn best. We will be able to significantly expand our career technical educational programming, increase academic opportunities, enhance special education, provide more collaborative and hands-on learning, and improve student services. Our fine arts programming will be enhanced, and we’ll be able to provide the necessary athletic facilities to support our physical education classes, student athletes and community events.
This plan is the perfect blend of protecting our small-town, family feel while rocketing our students into the future!
I look forward to discussing this plan further with you over the next few months.
Dr. Esther Mongan