Northwest Suburban High School District 214 is considering $24 million in maintenance projects and facility improvements for the next year, including a major renovation to the swimming pool at Buffalo Grove High School and finishing sound abatement work at Elk Grove High School.
While the total cost for projects to be completed for the 2013-2014 school year reaches $24 million, the cost to the district is only about $18 million because of contributions from other sources, including Robert Morris University, St. Viator High School, the Federal Aviation Administration and other grants, said Brian Lichtenberger, the district's director of operations.
The remaining money will come from the district's capital projects fund.
The largest expense outlined in recent school board discussions is an $11 million renovation to the swimming pool at Buffalo Grove High School.
Construction on the pool would start in June 2013 and be completed in August of 2014, leaving the school without a pool for a full school year. Lichtenberger said officials have yet come up with a plan for sports teams and classes that use the pool.
Other than Buffalo Grove there are only two other swimming pools in District 214, at Elk Grove and Wheeling high schools.
School board member Dan Petro said he has visited the Buffalo Grove pool and it seemed functional.
"Why are we doing this instead of investing the money into building a pool somewhere else," Petro asked. "I'd like some rationale as to why we're doing this renovation rather than expanding our swimming facilities."
Superintendent Dave Schuler said he didn't have the exact reasoning, but would prepare a response for the next school board meeting.
Robert Morris University, which is on the verge of a new agreement to use District 214 facilities, will be paying for football stadium upgrades at Forest View Educational Center. The upgrades to the press box, seating, field house and locker room will total more than $3.3 million, but at no cost to the district, according to the plans.
About $1.2 million worth of work -- funded by the FAA and city of Chicago -- will be done at Elk Grove High School to finish flooring and roof work as part of a sound abatement project intended to reduce jet noise from O'Hare International Airport.
About $3.4 million will be spent on major maintenance projects, which is about 1.3 percent of the district's total budget, Lichtenberger said.
"My experience with manufacturing plants is that usually 6 or 7 percent of the budget is spent on maintenance, so 1.3 percent is really a compliment to what goes on here," board member Bill Dussling said.
Maintenance projects include paint, lighting and carpet updates at several of the district's six high schools. The theater at Forest View, which his rented out by several groups, will undergo almost $400,000 in renovations, according to the plans.
The school board will vote on the facility improvements and major maintenance plan at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13.