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Various proposals slated for U-46 board vote


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education is expected to vote on nine bids and proposals totaling $6 million at its upcoming meeting on Monday, April 8. The items, which were presented on March 16, were part of over $6.1 million in total expenditure proposals.
  The March 16 meeting was held electronically with all board members calling in, board member Donna Smith was absent, as a precaution to COVID-19. U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders and Miguel Rodriguez, chief legal officer, were the only ones present in the board room.
  Much of the work being scheduled at buildings which will be voted on is scheduled to start in the coming weeks and months, and board member Melissa Owens asked if that work may need to be pushed back due to the shutdown over the virus.
  Sanders said that “right now, everything we do is subject to potential changes as we move through this current emergency,” but the summer work should take place “unless it requires 10 or more contractors at the same time to be on the site.”
  Included is a bid for a mechanical systems replacement project at Elgin’s Harriet Gifford Elementary School at a cost of $3.1 million which would come from the operations and maintenance fund if approved. The proposal states the “current cooling system cannot adequately keep up with the demands of the building. The aging steam boilers and window unit ventilators are also showing signs of atrophy and are no longer considered reliable.”
  A roof replacement project at Bartlett Elementary School has a price tag of $946,200 (operations and maintenance fund). The proposal states its been over 30 years since the roof has been replaced.
  A bid costing $698,000 (operations and maintenance fund) would go to a ventilation system project at Elgin’s Coleman Elementary School.
  “Coleman Elementary does not currently have ventilation present in all of the hallways,” the proposal states. “Some of the building additions have addressed this issue by adding HVAC in the new corridors. The original sections of the building, however, were never upgraded. Although this was not an uncommon practice in 1953 when Coleman was originally built, it does create concerns with proper airflow in the spaces that do not have ventilation.”
  A bid for a five-year contract with RSM US LLP will cost $446,175 (education fund) for the district’s annual financial audit. RSM is the current auditor in U-46, and the cost is down from $510,175 over the last five years.
  An HVAC project on the lower floor of Elgin’s McKinley Elementary School will cost $404,000 (operations and maintenance fund) with F.E. Moran, Inc., and the proposal states the “existing unit ventilators in the classrooms on the lower level… are mounted in a way that half of the units are above the ceiling grid and half of the units are beneath it. That placement allows condensation to get trapped within the ceiling grid. As a result, air flow is not evenly distributed and humidity issues have surfaced.”
  With Custom Education Solutions, Inc., the district wants to spend $132,573 of national taxpayer dollars through Title III funds for the purpose of expanding the English language learners’ library.
  The district also wants to spend $112,741 in Title III funds with LA Libreria for expansion of dual language libraries in elementary school classrooms.
  Also, with Title III funds, the district wants to spend $80,087 with Estrellita for dual language supplementary resources.
  For oil and miscellaneous fluids for the transportation department, U-46 is asking for $47,795 (transportation fund) to go to Al Warren Oil Co.

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