District 225 board finally able to concentrate on the basics

 
 
Updated 11/25/2020 1:13 AM

The ongoing bobbing and weaving with COVID-19 didn't dominate Monday's Glenbrook High Schools District 225 board meeting. It felt refreshing.

Early in the remote meeting board President Bruce Doughty and Superintendent Dr. Charles Johns summarized the conditions that on Nov. 18 sent Glenbrook North and Glenbrook South high schools into Adaptive Pause until Jan. 19, hopefully no later.

 

Yet with that front being semi-static for a change, and no big-ticket items such as tax levies and fiscal-year budgets on the agenda, the board could turn to topics that are simply essential rather than earthshaking.

Like projects that will be done in the summer of 2021 as part of the district's three-year master facility plan.

They will be done at Glenbrook North, since summer school will be held at Glenbrook South.

Summer school was another item reviewed on Monday, with the two semesters encompassing June 13 through July 23 in Glenview.

It's assumed -- hoped -- 2021 summer school will be held in-person, though there is a possibility of online or hybrid learning for some classes. An updated plan will be presented next spring.

The 2021 capital projects include new roofing on two portions of Glenbrook North that were last treated in 1996.

It includes new, much-needed vinyl-covered fencing around the baseball field, replacing the original fence from more than 50 years ago; and new fencing and protective netting at the Spartans' softball field, 50 feet high behind the plate and 40 feet tall down the lines.

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The summer plan also includes filling cracks in a parking lot and sealcoating it, and resurfacing Glenbrook North's stadium track and its field events areas, last done in 2013. That'll hold for another eight years, when it's estimated that a whole new track will need to be installed.

Dr. Kim Ptak, District 225 director of operations and purchasing, who made the capital project presentation, sounded most excited about the third main project on the summer 2021 docket: the renovation of a 1,200-square-foot Career and Technical Education classroom that hadn't been updated in 30 years.

That room is going to get emptied out, stripped and rebuilt into a clean, open "maker space" lab that can handle a variety of assignments and uses within the technical curriculum. New lighting, new paint, new polished concrete flooring and, as part of a computer refresh, new laptops.

Though the district's architect, Arcon Associates Inc., already is on the case, these projects are not set in stone. Bids for the work should go out in January, they'll be reviewed in February and brought back to the board for approval on Feb. 22, 2021, as currently scheduled.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The estimated subtotal of the projects is $1,095,000. With architect, management and contingency fees, the grand total is an estimated $1,281,150.

"To give you a general threshold, our recurring or annual capital projects budget that we have built into our operating fund is about $1.5 million," said Dr. R.J. Gravel, the district's assistant superintendent for business services.

Overall, when Gravel looked at the three-year master facility plan established last year, he said: "We truly are in very great shape."

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