The Examiner U-46 News Feed
U-46 plans nine projects for completion this year
By Seth Hancock
School District U-46 plans to work on nine capital projects this year at a total estimated cost of $14.7 million.
In November, the administration updated the Board of Education on the plans showing the largest project being $5 million going towards renovating U-46’s food service facility in Elgin.
The projects will largely be funded by $9.7 million in working cash bonds that were part of a total $40 million in bonds approved during a controversial debt restructuring that took place in 2015.
In a memo and in response to a question from board member Sue Kerr, the administration said “we will be utilizing the remaining balance” of that $40 million in bond funds.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system replacements at Streamwood’s Canton Middle School ($2.6 million) and Streamwood High School ($2.5 million) are the next largest costs on the list. The Canton HVAC replacement is the second phase, the first phase being completed in 2017 at a total cost of $2.5 million which was the largest project last year.
The next largest project is work on a stadium at Bartlett High School which was listed at $1.75 million. In October, the board approved a $1.6 million proposal for the stadium and ultimately the Bartlett Boosters Club, which had already raised $925,000 through private donations, said it plans to reimburse the district for the project.
A wireless cabling project at 19 schools is estimated to cost $1.2 million while the remaining four projects are expected to have a combined cost of $1.7 million which include welding renovations, elevator renovations, HVAC replacement design plan and mobile demolitions at four separate district schools.
“The list is still a little bit fluid,” said Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations. “It’s still subject for change depending on resources at this point, but we’re pretty close to where we think we’re going to end up.”
King said there are no plans for paving work at any site.
“We just don’t have the resources to do it,” King said. “Frankly, we have some lots that do need to be paved, but we’re going to have to patch them and limp along a little longer because we don’t have the funds to do them right now.”
Board member Jeanette Ward noted a project listed as roofs, parking lots, fire/intercom alarms, elevators and boilers and asked if that included paving which King said “not for this next summer” but the following in 2019. Within the list given to the board was also the 2019 plan which listed that project at $3.8 million which was the largest of 10 projects totaling $12.5 million that are being planned for next year.
Board member Melissa Owens asked when the food service facility will be operational upon renovation completion to which King said “probably summer time at the earliest.”
Kerr asked for in the future that the administration provide details on actual costs to the district annually for projects such as paving, roofing and other annual operational projects.
Chris Allen, director of plant operations, told the board that in 2017 the district completed 10 projects all of which were on time. Those projects will have cost around $10 million.
Ward offered “kudos” for those projects being completed on time saying: “I know that doesn’t always happen, speaking from experience in industry. I think it’s commendable to have completed 10 projects on time.”