While Triton College is celebrating 50 years of existence, the college’s board of trustees is hoping to mark a new milestone: Performing 10 years of renovation projects over a three-year period, all without raising property taxes.
On Tuesday, July 8, Triton held a community meeting at Riverside Brookfield High School to present the college’s construction needs as well as describe the plan as to how the projects can be successfully completed.
Each year, Triton allocates funds for various rehabilitation projects including classroom updates, landscaping needs and more. The college wants to get the project done soon because they say aging facilities struggle to meet the modern needs and growing populations of students. Also, the board wishes to capitalize on today’s low interest rates for bonds.
In order for Triton to continue to serve the growing needs of the community for the next 50 years, the board has proposed a plan that includes utilizing existing budget dollars set aside for renovation projects and issuing Alternative Revenue Bonds in the amount of $50 million.
Some basic renovations with the bonds include updated windows, classroom furniture and instructional equipment. Larger projects include upgrades to the Cernan Earth and Space Center, Cox Auditorium, Career Center, Fitness Center, Health & Sciences and Kitchen facilities, Student Center and Child Development Center.
Triton hopes to retire the balance of the bonds over a 20-year period with annual repayment of roughly $3.6 million, meaning all projects would need to be completed over the course of three years. If the board approves the money for the bonds, no tax increases will be needed and tuition rates will not see changes as a result of the bonds. At the board of trustees’ Sept. 23 meeting, the board will vote to approve the bonds.
The plan discussed did not address the proposed shared gun range/law enforcement training facility that has been floated by local mayors. That money would come from funds kicked in by local communities, the school has said.
Triton will be holding two additional informational meetings for the community about the bonds and desired projects at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park on Thursday, July 24 at 7 p.m. and at the Oak Park Public Library on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m.