Creative Funding Alternatives for Naperville District 204 Metea Valley High School Which Could Cover Remainder of Brach-Brodie Land Purchase Without Additional Taxpayer Dollars

I’ve followed the ongoing saga of Metea Valley High School and the “Legend of Brach-Brodie” for some time now as both a Naperville insider, a father of two boys and an Indian Prairie District 204 resident. 

First, I believe very strongly that the Brach-Brodie land is the proper location of the new high school.  Yet, as we all know, during condemnation proceedings the court ruled in favor of a per acre price which, in total, is roughly $17,000,000 more than the amount Distict 204 budgeted in the referendum. 

Many concerns and opinions have been raised and I’ve listened closely to the discussion.  The bottom-line is its time to come together as a community to put our heads together, to think outside the box and find a way to make this situation work.

As a marketer who has worked the majority of his career in the not-for-profit world, the first possible alternative comes in the form of corporate sponsorships.  If it be a football stadium, a pool, an auditorium, or all the above the district could work with a professional sponsorship consultant, such as IEG (www.sponsorship.com), to determine not only the short-term and long-term valuation of specific sponsorship properties but also to evaluate potential prospects.  Packages which include everything from naming rights to multi-year strategic partnerships could be developed to offset what, in the grand scheme of things, is not an insumountable sum of money.  Besides, given the high visibility of Naperville and its accompanying demographics, such a sponsorship investment could be fairly attractive.

For anyone concerned about the mixture of corporate interests and education, fear not.  The nature of these “good corporate citizen” relationships are more about brand positioning/co-branding opportunities and less about high-pressure direct sales.  In other words, corporate sponsors want you to develop positive sustainable thoughts about their brand, rather than rush in for a quick sale.  Corporate sponsorships are all about positioning and building long-term relationships. 

Aside from corporate sponsorships, why not consider a large donor fundraising campaign to raise capital funds much in the same way the arts and arts facilities have achieved its mission over the years.  With the passion and financial strength within this community, certainly there are donor prospects out there who might step forward to build their own legacy in a big way.  Academic, arts and sports facilities alike could be offered up as fundraising targets for donors.  Perhaps the campaign consists of a low-dollar and high-dollar component to give any member of the community an opportunity to make a gift.       

Consider the alternatives of an additional tax referendum, redrawing boundaries, abandoning plans or building a high school without comparable amenities and the sponsorship and fundraising angles start to look even better.  I invite your comments.  SM 

   

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3 responses to “Creative Funding Alternatives for Naperville District 204 Metea Valley High School Which Could Cover Remainder of Brach-Brodie Land Purchase Without Additional Taxpayer Dollars

  1. Hi Stuart –
    Thanks for posting these ideas. I hope you have shared your ideas with the school board.

  2. Bob Fieseler, Nville City Councilman

    Naming rights in return for assistance in the funding of public amenities – very creative. There’s another cause that could use our community’s collective help in finding a non-taxpayer-funded solution, namely: finding a way to make the adjacent neighbors of Edward Hospital whole for the diminished value of their homes that will be caused by the hospital’s planned expansion to meet the communities health care needs. As I said during the recent Council vote on rezoning the hospital property with such expansion in mind, the neighbors (the Adjacent Eight) are being asked to shoulder the burden of the happenstance that the hospital’s past expansions have spilled into the southeast corner of its property. As with your proposal, Stuart, we as a community need to try to find a way to give them a just compensation when government can’t. KUTGW, ~BobF (Councilman).

  3. I would like to stay optimistic about this Metea Valley situation, however, Mike Skarr’s comments indicating that Superintendent Daeschner has not even taken the intitiative to set up a meeting is discouraging.

    Also discouraging is Board President Metzger’s newspaper comments that the district WILL NOT pay the jury award. It leads me to think that even if some creative financing could be arraged, the board would not be open to the possibility. It is disappointing that in-the-box thinking will get us stuck with an unfavorable location for our new school. Location is the one thing that we are stuck with forever!

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