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Article posted: 8/15/2012 12:40 PM

Geneva schools' capital plan costs $6.7 million

The former Coultrap School on Peyton Street could cost nearly $1 million to fix and bring up to code, according to the school districtís facilities director.

The former Coultrap School on Peyton Street could cost nearly $1 million to fix and bring up to code, according to the school district's facilities director.

 

BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer

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A new five-year capital spending plan outlines $6.7 million worth of work on Geneva public schools, its headquarters and its bus building.

Almost a million dollars of that is for repairing an empty school building that the school board is contemplating tearing down.

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The plan, which can be found at geneva304.org, was presented to the school board this week.

Some of the work it lists, such as installing artificial turf at Burgess Stadium and new seats in the Geneva High School auditorium, is already under way or completed.

The plan calls for, among other things, heating and ventilation system repairs and equipment replacement at most schools; installation of security cameras in schools; replacing carpeting at the headquarters and in the high school auditorium; sealcoating or repaving of parking lots; replacing faulty floor tile at two schools; resurfacing tracks at the middle schools; replacing water heaters; and putting in screened windows in the offices of the transportation building. The money is to come out of the district's reserves, board President Mark Grosso said Tuesday. But the plan reiterates that the Coultrap building on Peyton Street, which has been closed since spring 2009, could use quite a bit of attention. The district's facilities director estimates it could cost $200,000 to replace the building's water pipes, $125,000 to tuck-point its brick facade to stop water from leaking in and ruining plaster walls, and $250,000 to install a fire suppression sprinkler. Asbestos-containing floor tile is showing through deteriorated vinyl tile that was laid over it, and part of the roof, on the 1923 portion of the building, should be replaced, according to the plan.

A facilities task force earlier this summer recommended tearing Coultrap down. The district has long planned on doing so. Originally, demolition would have made way for expanding Geneva High School, which is next door. The high school expansion was put on hold in 2008. Students from Coultrap moved into the new Williamsburg Elementary School in 2008, and Harrison Street Elementary moved into the Coultrap building for one year while Harrison Street was being renovated.

But the board isn't likely to make any decision for several months, according to Grosso, who is on the facilities task force. It is still collecting input from the public, and investigating several suggestions. People have suggested the building be mothballed, or rented out, he said. Grosso said the district will likely have another forum, toward the end of November, to discuss the matter.

"We owe it to the community to make sure we are thorough with our investigation," he said.

The Coultrap building hosts school board meetings, some Geneva Park District activities and overflow high school sports activities. It started life as Geneva High School, then served as a junior high school, then an elementary school. It has had several additions.

The board has held two public forums about what to do with Coultrap, and is soliciting comments on its website.

In other business:

The board also received the tentative 2012-13 budget Monday. The board has reviewed parts of the budget the last few months.

It calls for receipts of $89.86 million and spending of $93.77 million. Expenditures are projected at $55.2 million in the education fund, $12.5 million on operations and maintenance, $15.9 million to repay debt, $7.5 million on transportation and $2.4 million in retirement contributions.

The budget can be viewed online in the Board Book packet for the Aug. 13 meeting or at the district office, 227 N. Fourth St. The board will vote on it Sept. 24. The fiscal year began July 1.

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