District 158 receives overdue capital grant
HUNTLEY – Receiving $39.4 million is always better late than never.
School District 158 applied for a $39.4 million capital grant in 2003 from the Capital Development Board for construction that was completed in 2005. A successful 2004 building bond referendum funded the construction of the Square Barn Road Campus schools in Algonquin: Mackeben Elementary, Conley Elementary and Heineman Middle School.
Also included in the $80 million project was an addition to Marlowe Middle School in Lake in the Hills.
The school district was notified late last week that it will receive the $39.4 million.
“The state of Illinois is now fulfilling those funds from the 2003 grant application list,” said Mark Altmayer, the district’s chief financial officer.
“It’s normal it’s this far behind because it’s the state of Illinois,” Altmayer said. “We never thought we were going to see those funds. Based on the financial condition of the state, we didn’t think this was going to come through at all.”
Altmayer said that over the next couple of months, the school board will begin outlining a plan on how to use the funds.
Part of the money likely will be allocated to help the district pay portions of previous debt incurred to fund the 2005 construction.
“This will lower future property taxes from what they would have been without the grant,” Altmayer explained.
The funds also will help the district fund future construction projects. Although home building has slowed, the district still is experiencing annual enrollment increases. Altmayer said Huntley High School’s enrollment is projected to reach 3,000 students within five years.
“We will have to do something there,” Altmayer said. “Some people may say it’s at capacity now.”
The eight-school, 9,200-student district serves the communities of Huntley, portions of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Union, Lakewood and several unincorporated areas.
About the Capital Development Board
The Capital Development Board is the construction management arm of Illinois’ state government. The board oversees the design and construction of new elementary and high schools, college and university facilities, public safety centers, museums and historic sites, state recreation areas, health centers, office buildings and prisons. The agency also works with the Illinois State Board of Education to administer grants for school construction and renovation to local elementary and secondary school districts through the School Construction Program.
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