Crawl space under gym floor with wooden supports

1957 mechanical room

Non-secure entryway into the building

Asbestos tile original to building

Single-use cafeteria with low ceilings and limited natural light

Tuckpointing and window needs

Pipes run through hallways at just above eye level

Congested traffic on Franklin Street

Update 3/20/24

On behalf of the Galena School District, we would like to express our deepest gratitude for your support in approving the recent high school referendum. The preliminary election results show that voters have approved the Galena High School referendum 1352 votes (65.09%) to 721 votes (34.91%). Thank you for trusting our school district and for taking the time to participate in yesterday's election. The voter turnout nearly doubled the percentage of the county and the primaries across the state.

We understand that this decision was not made lightly, and we are humbled by the overwhelming support that we have received from the Galena community. Your generosity and commitment to our schools have demonstrated your understanding of the importance of education and the future of Galena High School.

More updates will be coming as we progress.

On March 19th, 2024, residents of the Galena Unit School District will be asked to consider a $14.2 million referendum to build an addition and renovation of Galena High School.

The ballot resolution was approved at a Board of Education meeting on December 19 by a unanimous 7-0 vote of the board.

What will be renovated? The ballot language consists of a classroom addition between the current GHS site and new GEMS site, as well as security upgrades for the building with infrastructure improvements. The 1957 original high school portion would be deconstructed for the updated gymnasium and the 1960s area known as Senior Hall would be renovated.

What is the cost of this renovation? The total cost of the renovation and construction is expected to be $28.4 million, and $14.2 million is asked by the taxpayers via referendum. The district reserves will be used for $14.2 million of the project.

The annual estimated tax impact per $100,000 "fair cash value" on your most recent property tax bill would be $99-$126 per year for 20 years. Please see the tax estimator on the right for a more individualized number.

Why is the project needed? Improvements are needed to our high school to install a secure entry and ensure the safety of students inside and outside the building.

1957 original plumbing, water, mechanical, and electrical infrastructure needs to be replaced and updated.

Energy-efficient systems and introduction of air conditioning will enhance student learning.

What does the referendum look like on the ballot?

Why is this project good for the taxpayer?

This project was chosen because of cost and responsibility to the taxpayers. The hybrid of renovation and new construction allows for cost efficiency by renovating what is worth saving and new construction in places it would cost more to renovate.

Operational and highly energy-efficient systems will save taxpayer funds moving forward. Materials used will be durable and maintainable, and they will ensure long term service to the district.

How does this investment compare to the last three failed referenda?

There is more information in the links on the side of the page, but each of the three previous bond referendums asked for between $174-186 per every $100,000 market value home. The March 19th ballot question is asking for approximately $99-126 for a $100,000 market value home. This is an "apples to apples" comparison to the previous referenda, not suggesting homes are sold anymore for $100,000.

Which options were considered?

The High School Facility Planning Group considered all options for the future of the high school. The bolded option was ultimately chosen as the best option to meet the objectives while being good stewards for the taxpayers of the district.

  • OPTION 1 – Additions to existing GHS (approx. 38,000 sf), Complete Renovation of approx. 1⁄2 of existing GHS, Minor Renovations of approx. 1⁄2 of existing GHS, deconstruction and replacement of Music Suite; Overall Estimated Project Cost - $31,625,000

  • OPTION 2 – New Construction on southern portion of campus - $33,440,375

  • OPTION 3 – Addition to existing GPS (approx. 50,000 sf), Complete Renovation of GPS; Overall Estimated Project Cost (L&L) - $32,690,585

  • OPTION 4 – New Construction on northern portion of campus - $36,436,500

  • OPTION 5 – Phasing the project every 5 years with revenue available, but with multiple Phases over estimated 35 years; Overall Long-Term Estimated Project Cost - $55,700,000

  • OPTION 6 – Additions to existing GHS, Complete Renovation of approx. 30% of existing GHS, Deconstruction of 70% of existing GHS - $28,380,620

  • OPTION 7 – No Additions or Renovations, only fix deficiencies, no work to address security or programming, does not include air conditioning, secure entry and would still require a referendum - $21,000,000