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U-46 safety survey data primed for board vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 is set to vote on a variety of 10-year safety survey reports at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.
  The items were presented at the Dec. 14 meeting, which was held electronically due to COVID-19 regulations.
  Included were reports for 17 district sites identifying $31.4 million in new repairs needed to come up to code. Approval of the reports allows the district to receive fire prevention and safety funds.
  “We do have to file these amendments (with the regional education office) and regularly review our facilities for updates that could be health or life safety issues,” said Superintendent Tony Sanders said.
  Elgin High School along with its Memorial Field had the largest identified repair costs at $8.2 million, the DREAM Academy in Elgin followed at $7.9 million and Streamwood High School along with Millennium Field at $3.4 million.
  Additionally, five sites had repair costs identified at over $1 million.
  Board member John Devereux asked for a summary of what the reports are for.
  “It’s a 10-year health and safety analysis of each of our buildings,” said Sheila Downs, director of plant operations. “The reason you see the frequency, each year we’re bringing them to you, is because we’re so large. In smaller districts, the board would see this once every 10 years.”
  Downs said the district produces reports for about 15 sites annually but is planning to stagger them more in the future. She said “things identified in these reports that need immediate repairs” as well as “low hanging fruit” are addressed first.
  Devereux said there was about $10 million in plumbing items identified in the reports, and Downs said those issues are planned to be addressed in the coming year with bids being sought for four domestic water repairs.

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