The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 Board reviews list of $2.1 million proposals
By Seth Hancock
The Board of Education in School District U-46 will vote on $2.1 million in bids and contracts on April 11 as it heard the eight proposals at its meeting on Monday, March 21.
Of the two bid proposals, one was for $1.1 million with Schroeder Asphalt Services, the lowest of 12 bids, for maintenance work on the west parking lot and sidewalks at Streamwood High School. The expenditures would come out of the capital projects fund.
Board member Sue Kerr said she recently visited the school and said the parking lot is “really terrible.” She asked: “Do we have a better schedule for our parking lots so they don’t get to that point?”
Chris Allen, director of Plant Operations, said U-46 has a 20-year plan for parking lot upkeep, and Streamwood’s was next on the list.
The next bid was for $730,887 out of the operations and maintenance fund to Peak Electric, Inc. The proposal is “to provide wireless access points and switching upgrades” at 10 U-46 elementary schools under phase four of a plan to do such work at all district schools.
One of the four bidders submitted a bid of $2.3 million, well over double that of the other three bids, which board member Jeanette Ward said “it was surprising since it was so out of line with the rest of the bids.”
U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said that “since they were new to this sector” the assumption was that bidder didn’t understand the specifications.
Board member Phil Costello questioned why the bid proposal would come out of the operations and maintenance fund rather than capital projects. He asked a similar question regarding one of the itemized bills, which the total of $6.2 million of bills was unanimously approved 6-0, (Cody Holt was absent), earlier in the meeting.
Jeff King, chief Operations officer, said about the $164,027 with Dahlquist and Lutzow Architects, Ltd. for building addition fees during the itemized bills discussion was budgeted that way as “an effort to preserve some of the capital funds to try and get us through a couple more years.”
Rickey Sparks, director of Business Services, said the same reason for the decision regarding the Peak Electric, Inc. bid.
Costello said, during the itemized bills discussion, that he agreed with that decision “especially if that’s where it was budgeted originally and not just plugging and chugging I would agree with that.”
Of the six contracts proposed the first was for $79,190, to come out of the education fund, with Raptor Tech to manage visitors to district schools.
Costello asked about the savings of automating the system of managing the system which John Heiderscheidt, director of School Safety and Culture, said “absolutely” there’d be savings from reducing man hours needed at schools to scan in visitors and check sex offender registries from the state and the nation. Heiderscheidt said it “takes time, energy and accuracy issues” while checking those registries.
There are seven schools in the district already using Raptor Tech, and there’s a $480 annual cost at each site for licensing purposes.
The other five contracts ranged from $31,520 to $41,979, all to be paid by the nation’s taxpayers through an IDEA grant, to purchase intervention materials for special education students. They include Earobics from Houghton Mifflin Publishing, Hopscotch: Sistema de la Intervencion from Pacific Learning, Leveled Literacy Intervention with Heinemann Publishing, Second Step Social Skills with the Committee for Children and the instructional intervention program from Touch Math.
Susan Smith, coordinator of multi-tiered systems of support, said “none of these are new to our district” but her department is “developing a consistent set so every student in any school has access to the same resources if needed.”
Ward asked for access to the materials which Smith said she was willing to take board members to classrooms to see them, but Sanders said bringing all the materials to the meeting was not feasible due to the amount of materials. Smith said “a simple search of the website” for each resource would show descriptions or samples of the materials.
Kerr asked about who uses the materials which Smith said there are full-time interventionists at Title I schools that use it, and teachers use it at other schools. Kerr asked about training which Smith said “all have some type of training.”
Voted on and unanimously approved at the meeting were honorary dismissals of four more U-46 employees, three teachers and an administrator moving to a tenured position. Melanie Meidel, head of U-46’s Human Resources department, said “additional resolutions will be presented in April.”
The board also was presented with the district’s February financial report given by Dale Burnidge, director of Financial Operations, who said the total fund balance was $194.9 million, a “very small increase of $586,500 from January.” He said total revenue was down 3.5 percent from last year at the same time, but it would be 10 percent higher if not for receiving bond proceeds last year.
Noting a large increase in capital outlay expenditures, 24 percent, Ward asked why that was up so much from the previous year, and Burnidge said that bus purchase was “the big piece, about $6.7 million.”
Revenues from the state for bus trip fees was down to $4.6 million from $10.5 million last year which Burnidge said invoices have been submitted but not paid yet.
There was $400,000 budgeted for Teacher Retirement System contributions but $700,000 has been spent, down from $800,000 last year, but Burnidge said “this is kind of an estimate based on the number of people retiring” and “it’s done for the year” after Costello asked if it has “tapped out.”