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updated: 4/22/2014 10:23 AM

Naperville junior high entrance work gets one dissenter

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Madison Junior High in Naperville will be getting a new front entrance with security and energy efficiency upgrades this summer, but one school board member questioned why that school is getting special treatment.

The school board approved a $769,000 contract with R.B. Construction, Inc., of Villa Park to build a vestibule, create a second set of entry doors to the lobby, build an office for the school resource officer and redesign the administrative area for more efficient use of space.

Board member Susan Crotty voted against the contract.

"I know we have lots of schools that could use that," Crotty said. "I was surprised to see it on the agenda."

Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said the need to utilize office space in a better way has been an ongoing topic of discussion between Madison leaders and the district's facilities staff.

"In addition, it takes advantage of an opportunity to provide a more secure entrance into the building," Bridges said about the work.

Enhancing safety and security was rated as of the "highest priority" by participants in the district's Future Focus community engagement series that concluded last year.

The construction project at Madison, 1000 River Oak Drive, will increase energy efficiency as well as safety by installing new ceiling tiles, LED lights and a new heating and air conditioning system, said Steve Mathis, director of buildings and grounds.

"How does that make it on the agenda and not the rest of the schools or our whole facilities plan?" Crotty said before voting "no" on the work at Madison.

District 203 is in the process of preparing a facilities master plan, and the school board is set to hear an update about the plan during its May 19 meeting, Bridges said.

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