North suburban Chicago parents oppose possible school closure, property tax hike

Parents frustrated over $89.8M referendum to close Glenview school, build new one

WILMETTE, Ill. (CBS) -- Parents in Glenview expressed their frustration Thursday night over a possible school closure that could cost millions of dollars in taxpayer money.

The school board's move would come through an $89.8 million bond referendum to close Avoca West Elementary, at 235 Beech Dr. in Glenview – and then rebuild it brand-new on another campus in Wilmette to the east.

But parents spoke out at an Avoca School District 37 board meeting Thursday night – saying they don't want to lose their school, and nor do they want to get hit with a 25-year property tax hike.

The group Concerned Residents of Avoca District 37 noted that for a $600,000 home in the school district, the tax burden would go up $1,771.67 a year – or $44,291.75 over the 25-year duration of the bond. For a $3 million home, the additional tax burden would be almost $230,000 over the 25 years, the group said.

"Questions haven't been answered. When we ask questions, we get sort of pat answers that don't feel honest and forthright – they feel like just pushing their narrative because they want the yes vote," said Jasmina Varvitsiotis, the parent of an Avoca West elementary student.

The group of parents against the referendum has grown to more than 100 people.

The referendum question will be listed on the March 19 ballot.

District officials have scheduled two open houses next week to answer questions about the school's future.

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