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Turf field for Elgin among U-46 approved expenses

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved four expenditure proposals totaling $5.5 million at its meeting on Monday, March 9.
  Included is a renovation project of Elgin High School’s Memorial Field stadium which will include adding artificial turf among other improvements.
  The total cost of the project is $4.6 million, from the operations and maintenance fund, with F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielsen and Associates, LLC.
  “The press box, bleachers, track and fencing are in poor condition and require repairs that extend beyond the capabilities of our internal staff,” the proposal states. “Thus, a full removal and replacement of those components of the stadium is recommended. In addition, there are multiple cracks within the concrete beneath the home bleachers, which causes leaks in the locker rooms beneath them. A full grinding of the cracks and sealing is required to seal that concrete and mitigate future water infiltrations.”
  The proposal adds: “The natural turf also presents some challenges. Thus, we are recommending the replacement of the grass field with artificial turf, which will allow the district to go from game-only use of the field to full access for P.E. classes, practices, band, etc.”
  The stadium was built in 1961 according to the proposal and has not had any major renovations other than the addition of a track in the 1990s.
  Another company did come in with a lower bid, $4.2 million, but the proposal stated “there were errors present within their calculations” and the company has “not been in business for a minimum of five years as specified in the Request for Proposal.”
  Work is scheduled to start on April 7 with substantial completion on Aug. 3 and closeout on Oct. 3.
  Sue Kerr, the board’s president, asked if the work will affect spring sports teams at Elgin. Sheila Downs, director of plant operations, said: “We’ve been working very closely with the athletic director. He said after the 31st of March, we are free to begin.”
  The district will spend $548,743 (operations and maintenance fund) with A Lamp Concrete Contractors, Inc. for parking lot resurfacing projects at Bartlett High School and Carol Stream’s Spring Trail Elementary School.
  “The surface layer of asphalt in the drives at Bartlett High School and in the lot, bus lane, and playground at Spring Trail are severely deteriorated,” the proposal states. “The current condition poses a safety hazard and is beyond the repair capabilities of the district. A milling of the surface layer and applying a new surface layer of asphalt to these areas is recommended.”
  Board member John Devereux asked why the two projects were bundled into one bid and Downs said the district’s consultant “recommended bundling these two together to make them more attractive and potentially get better pricing, and I believe we accomplished that.”
  The board approved a $250,448 expenditure, education funds, with Comcast to replace wireless access points. The district plans to use e-rate funding which means the nation’s taxpayers would pay for 80 percent of the project through a federal reimbursement.
  “The district’s deployment of a Cisco Meraki wireless system has been successful at all grade levels. The number of devices has increased as well as the need for reliable online testing. Part of our existing infrastructure is aging and replacements are needed to properly enable connectivity,” the proposal states. It adds: “The new WiFi6 equipment will be better suited to fulfill the technology needs of our high client density environments such as the typical modern classroom.”
  Also approved was a $48,110 expense, education fund, with Workforce Software for the annual license renewal of the district’s payroll software. The cost is 3.7 percent higher than last year.




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