school board

Highlights of the January 8 Board of Education Meeting

Representatives of the DLR Group and LAMP Inc. presented an update on projected costs of the kindergarten school at the Sullivan Center. The total project cost estimate is now at $11,998,055. This estimate does not include the road work, which entails providing access to the school from Phillip Road to create a smooth traffic flow for buses and parents dropping off their children. The Cook Memorial Public Library District Board recently approved this project.

The presenters discussed possible cost cutting measures that would change the aesthetics of the building but not its functionality. These options included switching the flooring to a less expensive material and doing away with the over hangings/punched openings on the north face of the building. They also provided the option of removing the art studio/staff collaboration spaces on the second floor, which would lead to a substantial cost savings of about $500,000.

The Board discussed the pros and cons of these options. For the project to go out to bid in a timely fashion, the Board would need to finalize and approve the budget at the next meeting on January 22.

Board President Sonali Patil continued the discussion about the Educational Facilities Master Plan (EFMP). She said that in previous discussions, all board members had agreed that the District’s schools are full and to do nothing to address this issue was not an option. The next opportunity to go out for a referendum is November of 2018. Suggestions the board members made for next steps included:

  • Review the projects in the EFMP and prioritize them
  • Ask the community for feedback on what they would like to see for their school district
  • Ask school administrators to provide updated lists of the space concerns in their buildings
  • Use social media as a tool to build awareness about the space concerns at the schools
  • Launch another community survey
  • Schedule special public meetings in February to seek community input
  • Talk with school districts that launched successful referendum campaigns

The discussion will continue at the January 22 Board meeting. School administrators will be asked to prioritize the identified projects in their buildings per the EFMP.