Grayslake Middle School students will get to chill in their building if the weather is hot when they start the 2012-13 academic year.
By a 5-2 vote Wednesday night, the Grayslake Elementary District 46 board agreed to spend $974,600 to air-condition the middle school for seventh- and eighth-graders.
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There were not enough board votes to approve air conditioning for Woodview and Meadowview elementary schools. Both buildings are in Grayslake serving kindergarten through fourth grade.
Facilities engineer consultant Michael Linder said it would have cost $2.3 million to install air conditioning in all three schools at one time. He recommended selecting the middle school if board members wanted to start with only one building.
District 46 board President Ray Millington tried to convince his colleagues to approve air conditioning for all three buildings. He said students would be treated as "second-class citizens" if they are in the buildings still without air conditioning.
"I feel we have the (financial) means to do it," Millington said.
Board member Kip Evans voted against the air-conditioning proposals for all three schools, saying he wanted more information and time to discuss the issue individually with his colleagues.
"I don't know how I should vote," Evans said.
Board members Karen Weinert, Shannon Smigielski, Michael Carbone, Susan Facklam and Millington voted in favor of installing the air conditioning at Grayslake Middle School. Evans and Keith Surroz were against.
Proponents of installing air conditioning at the middle school noted its enrollment of more than 800 students is the largest of District 46's buildings.
Facklam, Carbone, Smigielski and Evans voted against air-conditioning Woodview and Meadowview at this time. Surroz, Millington and Weinert were the minority in favor.
Carbone said money should be set aside in future budgets for air conditioning at Meadowview and Woodview.
"I understand we have extra money, but we have to use that money responsibly," he said. "We cannot borrow any more."