With state funds inaccessible because of a budget impasse, the Marion (Ill.) Community Unit School District #2 board has voted to take out a $7.2 million line of credit so it can pay for the continuing construction of a new high school.
The Southern Illinoisan reports that Marion board members approved the borrowing to keep cash flowing and complete the high school by 2017. District officials say Marion could face state penalties if it misses a June 2017 deadline for finishing the $68 million construction project.
State funds earmarked for the high school construction are tied up because the Illinois legislature has not passed a budget.
The amount of money Marion will need to borrow depends on how long the budget impasse continues, but if the district needs the entire $7.2 million, it would have to pay about $100,000 in interest this year.
The construction and renovation project at the district's high school has been in the works for several years. It nearly doubles the size of the school, now totaling about 100,000 square feet. New classroom space and a Health Education Center opened in the fall. The remaining portion includes an auditorium, fine arts classrooms and a renovated vocational wing.