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An expanded Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School?

January 13, 2019

BRADLEY — Officials in the Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School District say they are no longer considering a second campus — a project that voters twice rejected more than a decade ago.

But they are contemplating an expansion and renovation of the high school. They are working on a facilities study with their architects.

Now, the school, with more than 2,000 students, has a dozen mobile classrooms, where hundreds of students go every class period.

The school was built in the 1940s and has boilers that have been operating for more than a half century, Superintendent Scott Wakeley said. He is quick to point out it’s the largest high school between the Chicago suburbs and Normal.

“We kind of look at ourselves as an economic engine for the community. We are a large, comprehensive high school. We compete with other large high schools. We need to be on par with places like that,” Wakeley said.

In an interview this week, Bradley Elementary school board member Phil Trudeau said two high school board members have indicated to him they were concerned about his district’s consideration of a referendum to raise taxes for air conditioning in schools. Their fear was that it would affect the high school’s ability to get more tax money.

Trudeau said the two high school members, whom he would not identify, said they represented themselves and not the school district. The Bradley board voted to place the referendum on the April ballot at its meeting Thursday.

Wakeley said the board members were not making an official overture to the elementary district. He said he understands that when a school district talks about expansion, the first thing many think about is more taxes. So, he said it was important to involve the community in the process.

“We don’t want the backlash for something we’re not considering in the foreseeable future,” Wakeley said.

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