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updated: 4/13/2013 12:00 AM

New pools, office renovations part of D211's long-term capital improvements plan

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A presentation made during the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board of education meeting Thursday laid out five capital construction projects the district hopes to get done over the next several years.

Associate Superintendent for Business David Torres said the district would like to have the projects -- which will likely amount to more than $34.6 million -- completed between the 2013-14 and the 2017-18 school years.

The projects include, in order of priority: a projected $3 million pool renovation at each of the five schools; renovations of the main office and guidance area at Conant High School; an upgrade to the west side parking and tennis court area at Fremd High School; renovations to the adult transition program locations; and the construction of a second floor on the corridor that connects the science addition and the main building at Conant High School.

The district has enough reserves in its operating funds to cover the projects, with some coming from the operations and maintenance fund and some coming from the educational fund.

"As we have identified these capital plans over the next several years, we believe it is prudent for us to take these reserves ... and specifically earmark them," Torres said.

But because the projects will deplete the operations and maintenance fund to the district's target level and significantly decrease the amount of money in the educational fund, the board of education will continue to discuss whether the last $8.5 million of the projects should come from.

The options presented Thursday included taking more money from the operating funds or using the proceeds that could come from selling some of the 60 acres of land the district owns in Schaumburg Township.

Director of Purchasing and Facilities Steve East said the current T-shaped pools at the schools date back to around 1975. He said no space at any of the buildings gets more rental requests than the pools and it's time to do a complete upgrade on them all, from the filtration systems to the locker rooms.

East said Conant High School's main office area still has a 1962 arrangement, with lockers across the hall.

"That's exactly what we don't want to continue doing," he said. "We don't want there to be casual contact between guests and kids. We want to make sure that we're able, from a security standpoint, to check our guests, get them where they need to be and not have them overlap with our students."

$6.1 million from the operations and maintenance fund is already slated to be used for renovations of the Palatine High School main office and guidance area, which will be completed this year. There are plans to also have $2 million from the fund be used for the initial pool renovations.

The next step in regards to the long-term plans will include seeking board approval to advance the pool expansion concepts for all five schools.

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