The Examiner U-46 News Feed
Six U-46 schools set for parking lot repaving
By Seth Hancock
Six schools are having repaving work done this summer in School District U-46 at an estimated price of $5.5 million.
The district uses a 100-point scale system, the higher the score the less need for repaving, to grade each school on pavement needs. The schools planned for work include Bartlett High School (80.35), South Elgin’s Kenyon Woods Middle School (69.85), Elgin’s Abbott Middle School (69.65), Elgin’s Creekside Elementary School (68.85), Carol Stream’s Spring Trail Elementary School (68.5) and Elgin’s Larsen Middle School (67.3).
Sheila Downs, director of plant operations, updated the Board of Education on the work at an April meeting as she presented the 2020 pavement condition inventory. She said the inventory was “initially created in 2014” and is updated each year.
“It really is a snapshot of the entire district and the pavement for the parking lots, playground services and the adjoining areas,” Downs said. “The rationale obviously is that the natural lifecycle, assuming that it was engineered and taken care of appropriately, life cycle for asphalt is between 20 and 30 years. It’s not designed to last forever.”
A civil engineering firm created the inventory for the district and developed a replacement cycle plan.
“This document has been very beneficial for plant operations. However, it is not the only factor. Even though things are rated on a yearly basis, there’s additional atrophy,” Downs said noting weather events like the polar vortex a few years ago effected the scores.
Although the schools selected for work this year are on the lower end, they were not all the lowest. Six schools had lower scores than Larsen’s 67.3 and there are 23 sites from the lowest up to Bartlett High School’s 80.35.
Board member Melissa Owens asked how the schools are prioritized.
Downs said “we try to go after as many as we can reasonably get done in a year,” and “we really try to do our best and go after the ones that are causing the most problems with arrival and dismissal primarily.”
“There’s a lot of factors,” Downs said. “One is budget allowance for the year. Some of them are also congested traffic. There’s some drainage issues where we have some standing water. We try to look at the ratings, but also include any other variables.”