District 115 released a video addressing the West Campus on Waukegan Road as part of its ongoing bond campaign.



Credibility Gap - West Campaus

In the video, Chief Operating Office Jennifer Hermes makes the following points about the West Campus Administration building:

  • It is a multi-use facility
  • Accrued $3+ million in lease-generating revenue since 2010 (~$230,000/year)
  • Bond money will be used to improve capital projects at West Campus (not athletic fields)

It’s spin and borderline insulting for a Chief Operating Officer to report to stakeholders on “revenues” without addressing the "cost" side of the ledger. Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents are sophisticated enough to understand that “revenues” are only half of the story.

Left unsaid:

  • An accounting of the annualized operating cost of the West Campus Administration building.
  • An accounting of capital expenditures on West Campus since 2010. For example, the $2,954,800 roofing contract approved on December 6th, 2022
  • How many millions of bond revenues will be spent on West Campus? We’ve heard up to $10.6 million (it would take about 61 years' worth of leasing revenues to repay the principal for the West Campus bond and roofing expenses)
  • An explanation as to why spending educational bond money on an admin campus where high school students are not being educated is appropriate. 

How is our community to have rational and informed policy discussions if the people we hire to manage operations aren't giving us the full story? Chief Operating Officers should communicate the full facts objectively rather than offering half-story-political-spin.  Do you agree?