District 211 Announces Pool, Office Renovations as part of Capital Outlay Improvements
Township High School District 211 announced its plans for long-range capital outlay and improvement projects throughout the next several years.
Five prioritized projects are outlined for the next five school years and were presented to the Board of Education at its meeting on April 11. The projects, which correlate with educational goals, building utilization, and site improvement and maintenance schedules, are projected to total $34.6 million through the 2017-2018 school years.
“As a District, we are very strategic in setting direction for these projects,” said Dave Torres, associate superintendent for business as District 211. “We look at key areas, such as how these projects relate to what we do instructionally and operationally, and prioritize based on program commitments and available funding.”
Renovations include, in prioritized order, pool renovations at all five schools, renovation of Conant High School’s main office and guidance area, upgrades on Fremd High School’s west side parking lot and tennis court area, relocation of the Adult Transitions Program (ATP), and a connecting corridor between the main building and the science addition at Conant High School.
All five swimming pools in District 211 were built between 1975 and 1976, and are heavily utilized from early in the morning until late at night. Additionally, the schools’ pools are the most rented spaces by members of the community in the entire District. Due to normal maintenance, depth and regulation issues, and efficient utilization of space, this project affects the most individuals and has the highest completion priority.
Another high priority renovation is Conant High School’s main office and guidance area renovation, which will replace original building construction from 1962. To increase student safety, any lockers in that hallway will be removed and the main offices will serve as checkpoints for school visitors without mixing in with students. This renovation will keep Conant’s offices up to date with the other schools in the District and increase safety standards.
“When you look at the ages of our facilities, we have schools that were built in the 1960s and early 1970s. Like everything else, we have to account for the aging conditions, and reinvest in infrastructure and improvements,” Torres said. “When we develop a long-term capital plan, we’re always looking at the financial implications, timing of project completion and overlapping renovations.”
Torres said the District is in the right position to plan these renovations now.
The District has adequate reserves in its operational fund that will be designated toward these important renovations. All project funding is coming from the District’s reserves, and no debt spending will occur.
Additionally, the planning of these projects allows for the District to remain in a favorable financial position while utilizing funds. Each project will not interfere with other annual and cyclical maintenance and repair work, and will be staggered between different schools. Project scheduling and considerations include planning and priority of scheduled Life Safety work, summer school impact, and funding resources.
“These are very exciting and useful facility improvement projects planned,” Torres said. “The renovations will build on our District’s long standing commitment to provide quality facilities that contribute to our educational program and have a positive impact on students and staff.”