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Real estate purchase part of ratified U-46 expenses

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved of the purchase of an Elgin property costing $1 million as well as the Fiscal Year 2020 Northern Kane County Regional Vocational System (NKCRVS) budget, an itemized bills list and 25 expenditure items at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 12.
  All of the items were approved without discussion by 6-0 votes. Board member Melissa Owens was absent.
  The property is located at 955-967 East Chicago St., and will be purchased from ELLJEANE LLC according to the purchase and sale agreement which also stated it is “approximately 31,641 square feet of combined building area located on approximately 4.95 acres of land.”
  Jeff King, deputy superintendent of operations, said the district will be able to build 150 to 175 parking spaces with the purchase which comes shortly after the district purchased property at 1019 E. Chicago St.
  “This property is just west of 1019, which we purchased about 18 months ago and had started working on the parking lot,” King said and added: “We will basically utilize the whole parking facility which leaves us with a 90,000 to 100,000 square foot building that we really can’t put anything in.”
  King said the district will start discussing what to do with the 1019 building.
  In May 2018, the previous board approved of the purchase of the 1019 property at $4 million which the district also estimated $4 million additionally to renovate. The purpose was to move U-46’s welcome center and testing facility and to move buses to the facility in order to eliminate shuttling employees.
  The NKCRVS budget, funded through Illinois and federal government grants, is a joint-budget between four school districts and set both revenues and expenditures at $1.8 million. The approved itemized bills totaled $28 million.
  The expenditure items totaled $5.3 million and were all approved under the consent agenda which also included a settlement agreement in Olsen v. School District U-46. No information on the cost or nature of the lawsuit was provided.
  Included in the expenditures were four items with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt including contract renewals costing $105,979 for Read 180/Systems44 resources and $98,560 for professional development on those resources, both to be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through grant funds. From the education fund the district will purchase FASTT Math software costing $75,000 and System 44 literacy resources costing $52,962.
  The largest expenditure is $2.1 million, from grant funds, with 18 different entities for speech language therapist services.
  Also from grant funds is $543,058 with three entities (Top Echelon, Community Therapy, EBS Healthcare) for occupational therapists, $357,500 with One Hope United for preschool services, $208,081 with Career Staff and Soliant for school psychologists, $197,000 with Geneva Hearing Services for audiology equipment, $115,700 with Renaissance Services for STAR 360 resources, $100,000 to Elgin Community College to use its facilities, $73,389 for New-2-You resources, $49,002 with Great Minds for Eureka Math professional development, $42,694 with McGraw Hill for reading mastery and corrective reading resources, $37,590 to Instructional Coaching Group for professional development, $30,412 with Cengage Learning ) for Canciones y Cuentos literacy resources, $26,288 with Imagine Learning, Inc. for Spanish online literacy resources and $25,000 with Mackin Maker Professional Development professional development for librarians.
  From the education fund is $419,780 with Istation for digital learning resources, $131,768 with Mind Research Institute for ST Math software, $94,500 with Central Unit District 301 for U-46 students to take veterinary classes, $72,735 with Encyclopedia Britannica Online for the research tool, $40,850 with TurnItIn, LLC for the literacy resource and $25,000 with SchoolPace: American Reading Company for a data collection and tracking resource.
  From the operations and maintenance fund was $253,560 with Stabilizer Solutions for Hilltopper Infield Mix to be used on softball fields.




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