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  • Megann Horstead

D122 aims to improve buildings over the summer


New Lenox School District 122 officials have a busy summer ahead as they plan to spend $3 million on district-wide capital projects.

The board approved a pair of measures June 14 to partially abate and permanently transfer $880,763 in Working Cash Funds to the Capital Projects Fund and permanently transfer $3 million in Operation and Maintenance Funds to the Capital Projects Fund.

Improvements will include new roofing at Bentley and Tyler elementary schools, which crews started the week of June 11 by taking the old roofing off.

Composite flooring will be installed in the bathrooms at Nelson Prairie and Ridge elementary schools. It is a material that is easy to keep clean and lasts longer.

The buildings will be painted at Tyler and Bentley, as well as those at Martino and Liberty junior high schools. Typically, the District paints one-half of a respective building one summer, followed by another half the following year. The painting of the second-half of Martino and Liberty begins this summer, whereas Tyler and Bentley will finish up in the summer of 2018.

The District reviews its 10-year capital project plan every year in January and June to identify work needing to be done.

The improvements as previously approved by the board are anticipated to reach completion by Aug. 21, at which point the new academic year begins.

Also during that meeting, the board passed a measure providing the District with permission to allow ICI and Legat Architects to design and plan capital projects for summer 2018.

Primarily, officials are working to advance plans for HVAC renovation at Haines Elementary School, as well as some painting and repairs.

“They will have several months of planning and work that they’ll do over the summer in order to basically have bids ready to go by the end of December,” Business Manager Bob Groos said. “We’ll be opening sealed bids in January and then approving in February, so they really need to get started.”

The contractors have started to a degree, but they haven’t begun significant design work, Groos said. This measure provides a green light to advance that type of work.

The District had previous success with obtaining low bids by soliciting early.

Groos said it’s important to get the project started as soon as possible because the contractor will require more design time because “it’s very extensive and elaborate and involved.”

Board Member Al Haring said he likes the idea of going after bids early, but it’s important to consider the pros and cons.

To this aim, officials are planning to go on plan site tours at a Naperville school and the Kankakee YMCA to scope out HVAC systems in which the District is considering.

“We definitely want to see it in person, too,” Groos said.

Superintendent Dr. Peggy Manville reminded the board that there are many opportunities to examine what the district is beginning to consider as the cost estimates roll in.

“Even though it’s a commitment, it’s a non-commitment commitment,” she said.

Round it up

A brief recap of D122 action at the June 14 regular board meeting

  • Lunch will continue to be priced at $3 during the 2017-2018 academic year at New Lenox District 122 schools. Students qualifying for reduced lunch will be assessed $0.40, and those participating in the Free Lunch Program will continue to receive meals at no cost. A milk is included with the purchase of a meal.

  • New Lenox District 122 officials opted into a four-year technology lease with American Capital Financial Services for the acquisition of 1,200 iPads and 1,200 OtterBox Defender cases. It will cost $116,579.46 annually.

  • The school board rejected a bid submitted by Revolution Foods for the cold lunch box contract. Officials said they have shown to be a non-responsiveness bidder. The District will utilize the Illinois State Board of Education nutrition and wellness purchase process to secure another bid for the 2017-2018 academic year.

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