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1525 S. Grove Ave.

An advisory board of parents of children with special needs told the Barrington Unit District 220 school board Tuesday night a new facility in the works for a program that prepares high school graduates of varying abilities to live as independently as possible was inadequate.

The parents suggested parts of the district’s new administration building or the old one as alternatives. The school board did not commit to a course of action in front of the standing-room-only crowd, but it scheduled a meeting with the group for 8 a.m. this Thursday, June 20, at the administration building at 515 W. Main St. in Barrington.

Members of the advisory board BEST 220 said the 1,658-square-foot leased space being prepared in the office building at 1525 S. Grove Ave. in Barrington is far from the upgrade they were hoping for in the transition program’s planned move from a house on Sturtz Street next to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where it’s been for 12 years.

Read more here.

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At its June 5 meeting, the District 220 Board of Education approved the purchase of the residential property located at 36 East Dundee Road, which sits between the Early Learning Center and BMS-Prairie.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is selling the property to the district. BCFPD had proposed a fire station for the site, however the Cook County Board did not approve the proposal.

It’s reported that District 220 will be paying an estimated $562,800 for the 1,462 square foot ranch-style home built in 1955. Records indicate the roughly 1-acre parcel last sold for $500,000 in December of 2016 to the BCFPD.

“The district expects the land to be used to improve traffic flow and parking at the two campuses,” a recent 220 press release states. The way District 220 has been managed in recent years, we expect this will likely be over a million-dollar expenditure before it’s all said and done.

Related: County board denies plans to build fire station near two Barrington schools

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After voters rejected a $185 million referendum last month, members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education dissected the election results and information gleaned from discussions with community stakeholders during their meeting May 21.

Board President Penny Kazmier said the earliest possible election dates to pose another referendum are March or November of next year. March is the presidential primary, where a Democratic nominee will be chosen, November is the general election, and in both the turnout is likely to be significantly more than it was in last month’s election.

Overall, Kazmier said referendums were more successful in November 2019 than in April.

Superintendent Brian Harris said the Illinois General Assembly is moving toward placing a referendum for a constitutional amendment on the November ballot next year to replace the state’s flat income tax with a graduated one where higher incomes are taxed at a greater rate.

“There are some things we have no control over,” Harris said. “There is some concern about the increase in taxes the state of Illinois is considering. It has nothing to do with us but in the total tax burden (a referendum) is a piece of what they could have control over at the local level.”

Read more here.

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A private foundation supporting Barrington Area Unit District 220 has agreed to help fund a proposed outdoor education initiative and expansion of an entrepreneurship program into the middle schools.

Click on image to enlarge

Mary Dale, executive director of the Barrington 220 Foundation, said the nonprofit will provide a to-be-determined donation for the district’s proposed outdoor science laboratory off Hart Road. The lab would be on part of an undeveloped 67 acres the district owns, and officials say it could cost up to $750,000 to build.

Dale said the foundation also will donate $27,000 to District 220 for creation of the business incubator for eighth-graders at the two middle schools, allowing those students to have a “bridge” between similar programs in fifth grade and high school.

She said the two major projects were recommended for the funding after a vetting process by a committee that included residents and foundation officials. Foundation board trustees gave the final approval, with the selections revealed at a recent soiree at Barrington’s White House.

Read more here.

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Brian Battle

Two veteran Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members who didn’t seek re-election last month said farewell Tuesday night.

District 220 board President Brian Battle wrapped up a 16-year career as an elected official there, while Joseph Ruffolo ended an eight-year tenure.

At 12 years, Battle was the longest-serving board president in District 220 history, Superintendent Brian Harris said. In recognition of Battle’s record, a new board room will be named in his honor and a plaque hung in the soon-to-open district headquarters in a renovated office building across the street from Barrington High School.

“It’s been an honor to serve the Barrington community as a board member,” said Battle, a Barrington resident who is managing partner at Great Lakes Capital. “It’s often been said, right, the community gives the school board responsibility for two things that are pretty important to them, right: their money and their kids.”

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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The following are updates to stories previously published in The Observer:

Fresher and healthier student food on way to Barrington District 220

Barrington Area Unit District 220 students are expected to see better meals as a result of new food service companies hired for the 2019-20 academic season.

District officials said the goal was to move away from prepared food in favor of fresher, healthier and higher quality offerings for students.

Under Quest Food Management Services Inc., Barrington High School will get a coffee bar and a menu possibly including beef and chicken roasted on the premises, bubble tea and a sushi station. This food program was seen by District 220 officials who visited Quest clients New Trier High School in Winnetka and Glenbrook South High School in Glenview.

Read more here.

Barrington High stadium to get new artificial surface

After about 11 years of use, Barrington High School’s stadium will receive a replacement artificial surface in time for the next academic year.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Tuesday night voted 5-0 in favor of a deal with FieldTurf USA Inc. to install the new surface for a price not to exceed $700,000, with the tab being paid from the capital projects fund. Officials have said the projected cost is about $100,000 less than originally projected.

“We’re really at the end of the useful life of the turf and replacing the turf will ensure the future safety and playability in our stadium,” said David Bein, assistant superintendent of business services.

FieldTurf was installed as part of the new Barrington Community Stadium unveiled in August 2008, but officials said it is nearing the end of its life. Similar to that used by many other suburban schools, the playing surface includes sand and rubber particles between plastic fibers in an effort to provide players better footing and shock absorption.

Read more here.

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Barrington High School’s stadium could receive a new artificial turf surface before the 2019-20 school year at a price lower than initially projected.

The high school’s current turf, installed in 2008, is nearing the end of its life, according to Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials.

The District 220 board next week is expected to vote on a proposal to install a new surface from FieldTurf USA Inc., which handled the original 11 years ago.

Board member Joseph Ruffolo, a member of the advisory facilities committee, said officials have been prepared to spend nearly $800,000 for the replacement surface. But now, with a likely credit from FieldTurf for reusing current material, the bill isn’t projected to exceed $700,000.

“We got a better deal than we thought we were going to get,” Ruffolo said during a facilities committee session this week (Editorial note: Isn’t it amazing how things work?).

Read more here.

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