Facts about New Trier’s Referendum

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New Trier has spent over three years in study, debate, planning, and community engagement on the proposed construction and renovation plan for the Winnetka Campus of New Trier High School.  Over 1,600 people have attended one of the more than 100 tours of the campus.  On Tuesday, February 2, 2010, a referendum for that project will be on the primary election ballot. 

A short summary of key information is included below.  Please explore the links at the bottom of this page for more detailed information. 


What are some academic outcomes?

  • 59 new or renovated 900-sq. ft. academic classrooms
  • 3 new science labs and 5 science lecture rooms
  • Space and infrastructure for integrating technology in class, like one to one laptops, distance learning (few spaces allow this now)
  • All new spaces for music, performing arts, visual arts, tech arts

What are some athletic and extracurricular outcomes?

  • Field house for multisport training and physical education classes (required for all students every day)
  • Replacement of 1928 Gates Gym, which needs millions of dollars in immediate repairs
  • First-floor music rooms next to auditorium, appropriate acoustics

What are some general outcomes?

  • Complete accessibility for people with disabilities; 30 percent of current campus is inaccessible or non-compliant with ADA
  • $35.5M  in cost avoidance on repairs, maintenance over 20 years
  • Replaces 60- to 100-year-old most deficient buildings, including student cafeteria 


What are some academic issues with the Winnetka Campus?

  • Average academic classroom size is 610 sq. ft., inadequate for integration of technology, or for interactive and interdisciplinary learning
  • Older classrooms have poor sight lines, acoustics
  • Inadequate electric service and infrastructure for today’s technology needs
  • Basement track in 1928 Gates Gym has sharp curves, increasing injury risk; small fitness spaces mean wait times for students
  • Music, art, elective classrooms too small for programs

What are some general issues?

  • 1912 cafeteria does not seat every student assigned to a lunch period, forcing some to eat in halls, stairwells
  • Buildings from 1912, 1925, 1928, 1931 and 1950 need constant maintenance and repair; roofs, windows, etc., need replacement
  • 30 percent of the building is either completely inaccessible to those with disabilities or non-compliant with ADA


 What is the project’s timeline if it is approved?

  • Three summers and two school years, beginning in June 2010, completed in August 2012
  • Construction would be in phases, with West side buildings demolished first. Demolition would take place in summers.

What would be the impact on students?

  • New Trier would offer full curriculum throughout construction, including a full Summer School program
  • About 16 modular temporary classrooms (larger than current academic classrooms, with heating/cooling/tech) brought in
  • All sports offered, all performing arts offered, with some practices/performances moved to Northfield or other locations


What is the project cost?

  • Total cost, including site work, demolition, storm water retention, temporary classrooms, construction, renovation, furniture, technology, fees, contingency and escalation:
    • $174 million
    • Cost to the taxpayer will be $248 to $299 on an annual $10,000 tax bill.  A fuller explanation of the potential cost to the taxpayer is here (and then link to the “Cost of the Proposed Project” link)

Understanding the Project

Making Difficult Choices

Learning More