Dist. 300 saving almost $1 million on administration building

Community Unit District 300 officials have saved nearly $1 million in construction costs for an administration building some have derided as unnecessary.

Monday night, the district awarded nearly $2.3 million in contracts for the second and final phase of the building's construction. Last month, the district awarded $1.6 million in bids for the building's site preparation, sewers and other related work.

The projects combined will cost roughly $3.9 million, a figure officials said is $959,497 under the original budget.

“It was a good day for the district,” said Chuck Bumbales, assistant superintendent of operations.

The district realized those savings by reconfiguring the building so it held more cubicles as opposed to offices, Bumbales said. Offices cost more because they involve buying and building additional doors, door frames and walls, Bumbales said.

After at least 25 years of being housed in Carpentersville, the district is moving to a space near Jacobs High School in Algonquin.

The central office staff was spread among the old Carpentersville headquarters, Hampshire High School, Carpentersville Middle School, Westfield Community School in Algonquin and the deLacey Family Education Center in West Dundee, a situation officials have said was inefficient.

Several parents have questioned the necessity of a new building and complained that the board wasn't more open about its plans.

The 32,200-square-foot administration building will house 100 staff members and have the ability to accommodate at least 150 visitors. The project is expected to be completed by December.

Officials hope to fund the project with an anticipated $35 million to $60 million the state has owed the district for 10 years. District leaders recently ratcheted up the fight to secure that money and are planning a fall trip to Springfield, said Kathleen Burley.

“We need and want that (state) money,” Burley said.

The district's finance committee has discussed using debt certificates or borrowing the money from its own budget if the state funds don't come through.

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