Warren Township High School faces cuts if tax referendum fails

If you talk to administrators at Warren Township High School, the stakes for Tuesday's referendum could not be higher.

Superintendent John Ahlgrim said if the property tax hike doesn't pass, the Warren Township High School will be on track to lose its athletic programs and extracurricular activities.

"It is nerve-wracking," he said. "A lot of work has gone into trying to educate our community and invite them into the process."


If the measure fails, Ahlgrim says the consequences for students will be dire. "All of our athletics and activities would be eliminated and our 8-period day would be reduced to a 7-period day, which would just be a dramatic negative experience for our students."

Opposition is fierce to the move that could increase property taxes by roughly $360 per year on a home valued at $300,000. FOX 32 spoke with one homeowner who voted "no" to the referendum, who said property taxes in Gurnee are already too high.

But Ahlgrim says on a "per student" basis, Warren Township is relatively underfunded.

"Relative to our other comparable Lake County high school districts, we are the lowest in revenue. It's been that way for a while," he said. "We've been trying to make do with what we have and we've made cuts as needed, accordingly, but before we continue cuts, we [want to] go to the taxpayers for their support for the referendum."

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As of 8:30 PM Tuesday night, almost 5,000 votes had been tallied, with 56-percent voting against the referendum while only 44-percent voting in favor. If these results hold, school administrators are going to be in a very tough position.