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updated: 3/21/2014 1:06 PM

Dist. 211 budgets $52.6 million for projects

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  • This is a right angle view of the pool at Conant High School, which will be the first of District 211's five high schools to receive renovations. Coaches say the design, which is the same at all the schools, prevents athletes from properly training for competition.

      This is a right angle view of the pool at Conant High School, which will be the first of District 211's five high schools to receive renovations. Coaches say the design, which is the same at all the schools, prevents athletes from properly training for competition.
    Photo courtesy District 211

 
 

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members Thursday heard the annual update of the district's capital improvement plan -- one which promises another peak of activity during the next few years.

Associate Superintendent for Business Dave Torres said there was a high level of activity from 2006 to 2009, but the business of the coming years -- in which costs of $52.6 million are anticipated -- will put several issues to rest for a very long time.

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The district has been building up its reserves for these projects for years, he added.

Among the projects will be complete overhauls of some of the district's most-used facilities -- the swimming pools and locker rooms of all five of its high schools.

Construction bids for the entire project -- to be conducted in phases over three years -- will be opened, analyzed and voted upon during April. Conant High School in Hoffman Estates will see the work done first, starting this summer and stretching into the 2014-15 school year.

Though bids are still pending, district administrators are estimating the cost of the work at $4.5 million to $5.5 million per school.

Throughout the three years, a system will be set up so that operational pools will accommodate students and community groups displaced by the pools that are closed, Director of Purchasing & Facilities Steve East said.

Conant also will see work done this summer to allow room for Learning Support Teams to meet in the main office/guidance office area. The project is similar to last summer's redesign of Palatine High School office.

East said that when the time comes for major construction at a particular school, the best option is to get as many things done at the same time as possible.

Along those lines, Conant also will see the replacement of mechanical equipment located between its math and science departments during the next two summers. And in the summer of 2015, a corridor will be built connecting the two departments.

Several other categories of projects are planned or being considered for the next few years:

• Following on from recent improvements to the sound and lighting equipment at the district's oldest auditorium at Hoffman Estates High School, the other four school's auditoriums are expected to be brought up to par in the near future.

• Improvements are envisioned for wireless access at all the schools, as well as further work converting school libraries to more up-to-date media centers which facilitate greater collaboration among students, said Lauren Hummel, who will succeed the retiring Torres this summer. Hummel currently is food service director.

• Resurfacing and regrading of athletic fields for the first time since the mid-'90s in the near future is recommended.

• The old Barrington Orthopedic building which sits next to Hoffman Estates High School is being considered as a possible location for the district's Adult Transition Programs currently housed at that high school.

The freeing of space at the high school is seen as a positive, but the expected cost of renovation of the Barrington Orthopedic building would be $4.5 million, even if a deal can be reached to buy it from its current owners.

Bids for the projects earmarked for this summer are expected to be considered individually at board of education meetings throughout the spring, East said.

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