District 64 reviews capital projects for four schools
Updated: February 25, 2013 6:09AM
PARK RIDGE — The Park Ridge-Niles District 64 Board of Education created a plan for upcoming capital projects during a Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 14.
Board members agreed that in the summer of 2013, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning work will be completed at Carpenter School, boilers will be replaced at Lincoln Middle School and Franklin Elementary School, and asbestos removal will occur at Field School. During the summer of 2014 the second phase of the Field School project will take place and the installation of air conditioning is proposed.
Board President John Heyde said the timeline is supported by the board, but specific plans must still be formally approved.
The majority of board members also felt that the district should spend up to approximately $3 million in capital projects per year, but could spend more than that if necessary.
Board Member Eric Uhlig felt the board could exceed the $3 million annual expense if there was a vital need in the district. He did not feel there should be an official cap at $3 million.
Board Member Pat Fioretto felt differently.
“I personally would not feel comfortable going beyond $3 million a year,” he said. Fioretto also stated that he does not believe air conditioning at Field School is a major priority.
“It’s an equity issue,” said Angela Tuebo, the chair of the HVAC committee at Field School, noting that other schools in the district have air conditioning.
Tuebo said that there is also a safety issue because the windows must be open when it is warm in the building.
The air-conditioning phase for Field School could cost about $5.5 million and the project is the most expensive of all the projects on the list. The estimated total cost for the two phases of the project in the summers of 2013 and 2014 is estimated at about $10.6 million.
Board Member Sharon Lawson said that as board members it is their job to maintain the facilities for the students and make sure they are in a safe environment.
During the Committee of the Whole meeting the School Board also discussed possible ways to fund the projects, including borrowing, but the majority of the board was in favor of only using money that is in the district’s reserves.
District 64 Facilities Manager Scott Mackall said bids are being sought for air conditioning at Carpenter School. A recommended bid is expected to go before the School Board for approval in February.