Referendum passes, makes way for school updates

5 million dollar referendum and what it means for the school


staff photo

Students work in the newly-renovated journalism classroom, which has set the standard for future classroom renovations.

On Nov. 8, community members voted to pass a referendum that promises to allow our school to use up to $5 million annually to renovate facilities and infrastructure. 

Vote counts from Cook and DuPage Counties lead to approval of the referendum with 52.3% of people voting yes.

In 2006, Lemont passed a referendum, and as of 2027, the debt service levy will be paid off at $5.3 million. 

“The Board of Education and administration are always looking to improve the facilities that students and staff are able to utilize. They are looking long-term for things that can be improved. In 2006, there was a referendum that added new areas and the PAC and football field were improved,” said Tony Hamilton, Director of School & Community Relations. 

In 2018, the Board of Education created a facilities plan with the help of DLA Architects, showcasing the school’s renovation ideas, such as improving the cafeteria and the 25-year-old field house. This 255-page PDF is annually updated with areas in need of renovation and the corresponding costs.

Superintendent Dr. Mary Ticknor said, “The passing of the referendum ensures that the school will have enough money to continually update and modernize our facilities. For example, over time, all of our classrooms will systematically be transformed to look a lot more like Mrs. Szafranski’s or Mrs. Locasio’s classrooms.”

Not only are many of the school’s facilities outdated and in need of renovation, but these improvements will undoubtedly continue our tradition of excellence. The Commons, our school cafeteria, was once a locker room and the old space needs attention and revisioning. The current field house floor is ripping, cracking and lifting up. It has become a safety hazard to kids trying to run along the track. 

Ticknor said, “Tentative plans in addition to updating classrooms include renovation of science and technology labs, eventually remodeling the cafeteria and the field house. There are also infrastructure improvements that will be done, such as new roofs, replacing HVAC equipment, and improving Alumni Drive along with other areas that are paved.  The Administration and our architectural firm, DLA, will be gathering valuable information from students, teachers, support staff, and coaches in the coming months.”

Even those who don’t attend LHS can still benefit from living in a community with an excellent high school. The better the school is, the higher the value of homes are, making the referendum a win-win deal. 

Even though many plans will not begin until after the 2028 levy, community approval is necessary now so the school can continue to update their facilities plan annually until the money can be used. 

“Summer 2024 is when you’ll start to see some classroom updates,” said Hamilton.  

As one of the top schools in Illinois, students can look forward to an even more unforgettable high school experience now that the referendum has passed.

“[The referendum] will help fund educational needs for our school, and will help students pursue their goals,” said freshman Jean-Eduard Rodriguez.