A very important referendum is coming up Tuesday, March 17 for the renovation of Komarek School, our local grade school. 

I, possibly like many of you, was very skeptical of this proposal until my wife, Patti Jo, insisted we take a tour of the Komarek facilities, which we did last week. Oh my goodness! 

The east building of the complex was obsolete 25 years ago and the west building is obsolete today. I am frankly embarrassed as a North Riverside resident by the state of these facilities. 

Neither building meets modern requirements for public facilities, much less public education for our children — fire safety codes (no sprinklers!), Americans for Disability Act, ventilation, plumbing and electrical requirements, asbestos abatement, you name it. 

We are woefully behind modern regulations and standards on all these fronts and many more. Our family has lived in North Riverside for over 40 years, and we have benefited well from the low property taxes we have paid all these years. 

However, while we have kept our property taxes low, we as a community have severely underinvested in our grade school facilities at Komarek.

Extensive effort by the Komarek community, North Riverside residents and the professional school architect Arcon has been expended to come up with a thoughtful and cost-conscious design to address all of these concerns. 

Now is the time to vote yes for Komarek to ensure our grade school meets modern building requirements, so that we can be proud of our local grade school, continue to attract young families with children to our Village, and maintain and improve our property values.

Al Meyer

North Riverside