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Committee lists $7.8M in school facility upgrades : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Committee lists $7.8M in school facility upgrades
Superintendent, staff trim project list, cost estimate to $3.6M

by Lyle R. Rolfe


Repairs, upgrades and replacements in Oswego School District buildings and other facilities could cost nearly $8 million, school district board members were advised this past week.

A list of prioritized projects prepared by members of the district's Citizens Advisory Facility and Planning Committee was submitted to the board for discussion.

The total cost for all the projects was estimated at $7.8 million by Mike Barr, director of facility construction and development; Bill Baumann, director of operations; and Pat Dacy, assistant director of facility construction and development. They conducted an evaluation of all property in the district, which was submitted to the committee for review and recommendation.

The school district operates a total of 22 schools.

The three officials toured each building and met with the administrators and building engineers at each school, to survey conditions.

They also received assistance from engineers, architects, and contractors in preparing a list of major needs and concerns for each building.

Officials said the district has $7.2 million in funds remaining from past construction projects.

They include projects from 2007 through 2013 that came in under budget, and a balance from bonds sold for the recently completed additions to the district's two high schools.

Superintendent Dr. Matthew Wendt said he and other staff members reviewed the committee's recommendations and trimmed the list to 13 projects with an anticipated cost of $3.6 million.

Board member Greg O'Neil said he was opposed to using the remaining funds from the high school addition projects for repairs to other facilities.

He said these funds should be returned to the taxpayers who originally approved the sale of bonds for the additions.

Other board members said they felt taxpayers would not be opposed to using the money to update and repair existing school district facilities.

Panel's prioritized list

Here is a list of the items in order of priority as set by the committee.

The committee recommended top priority be placed on replacing the chiller at The Wheatlands Elementary School, 2290 Barrington Drive West, Aurora. The unit would provide chilled water to the HVAC systems throughout the building and provide backup to the existing boiler chiller which has had numerous failures.

The estimated replacement cost for this work is $625,000, and would take 10 weeks to complete.

Committee members also highly recommended replacing part of the 24-year-old roof at Oswego High School. The roof work should have a 20-year life expectancy when complete. The project is estimated to cost $250,000.

The committee said they would like to see the fire alarm panel at Thompson Junior High at 440 Boulder Hill Pass, Oswego, replaced. Officials said the panel, installed in 1997, is obsolete and replacement parts and programming software is not available. This project is estimated to cost $20,000 and take four weeks to complete.

The chiller at Fox Chase Elementary School at 260 Fox Chase Drive North, Oswego, also needs work, according to the committee. The plan is to replace the absorption chiller with a high efficiency oil-free centrifugal chiller. This project, estimated to cost $450,000, would take ten weeks.

Next in importance was replacing the nine-year-old epoxy floor in the kitchen at Churchill Elementary School at 520 Secretariat Lane, Oswego. Preparation before the flooring was installed was poorly done, they said. It has since been cited by the health department.

This two-week-long project is estimated to cost $24,000.

The committee said the 10-year-old swimming pool at Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego, needs resurfacing and deck restoration._They would also like to see the removal and replacement of the aggregate plaster finish over the entire interior pool surface because areas of the plaster have failed exposing the concrete.

This project, estimated to cost $210,000 would have a life expectancy of eight-12 years, officials said.

Next in importance are making pavement improvements at Bednarcik Junior High at 3025 Heggs Road, Aurora and Wolf's Crossing Elementary School, 3015 Heggs Road, Aurora.

Officials said they need to remove and replace the parking lot pavement, a sidewalk, install additional drainage, remove and replace some curbing, and patch other areas.

This project is estimated to cost $500,000 and take 11 weeks to complete.

Other pavement improvements are needed across the district, they noted. The committee said they include asphalt sealcoating, crack filling, patching, and restriping.

The cost to apply two coats of sealcoating over 2.8 million square feet at 11 cents per square foot will cost $314,871.

They said replacing 238,538 linear feet of hot rubber crack fill will cost $178,904, patching will cost $50,000 and painting where needed will cost $48,000.

The total cost for all work in the 4.2 million square footage of parking areas is estimated to be $591,775.

The 27-year-old outdoor track around the Oswego High School football field needs replacing as the next most important project, committee members said.

A new track with a 20-25 year life expectancy is estimated to cost $500,000 and take 10 weeks to complete.

Next on their priority list, according to the committee, is installation of emergency generators at four elementary schools-Grand Park at 26933 Grande Park Boulevard, Plainfield; Churchill at 520 Secretariat Lane, Oswego; Prairie Point at 3650 Grove Road; and Wolf's Crossing at 3015 Heggs Road, Aurora.

The project cost is estimated at $700,000, ($175,000 per school), and would take ten weeks to complete.

They ranked work on the 10-year-old track around the at Oswego East football field as next. It is in need of resurfacing, estimated to cost $65,000, When work on the track is completed it would have a life expectancy of 10 years. The work will take four weeks.

Pavement improvements also are needed at the seven-year-old Brokaw Early Learning Center at 1000 Fifth Street, Oswego.

Part of the parking lot subgrade has been damaged by ground water and needs replacement, they said.

This work is estimated to cost $140,000 and take six weeks to complete.

Next is the parking lot at Thompson Junior High at 440 Boulder Hill Pass, Oswego. It is in need of reconfiguration, a project estimated to cost $45,000 and take 11 weeks.

Restoration of six tennis courts at Oswego High School is next. The sub grade on the six-year-old courts has failed because of ground water, officials said.

This work is estimated to cost $200,000 and take 11 weeks to complete.

Replacing of the flooring in four computer pods at Bednarcik Junior High at 3025 Heggs Road, Aurora is next. It is failing and must be replaced, they said.

Officials estimated the cost of this work at $400,000 and said it would take 11 weeks to complete.

Total estimated cost
for cameras: $2.2M

The committee also recommended installing more surveillance cameras at Oswego East High at 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego and Oswego High at 4250 Rt. 71, Oswego.

The cameras would be installed at all building entry points, all interior common areas, stairwells, corridors, main office, and other interior locations as well as outside in the parking lots, driveways and other areas. The present system does not provide adequate coverage, they said.

Cost for cameras at both high schools is estimated at $750,000, and could be completed in 11 weeks.

The transportation, operations, former storage building and salt storage facility on Route 71 are beyond repair, according to officials of two architectural firms.

School officials said they need new buildings for consolidation of district wide furniture, fixtures, and equipment now being stored at each school.

The new buildings, including a facility for salt storage, also would provide additional space for relocation of the Grounds Department, and allow them to place all maintenance operations at one location to provide greater accessibility and increase efficiency of the operation.

Estimated cost of this project is $300,000. Work would be complete in 12 weeks.

Next in priority is installation of surveillance cameras at 14 elementary schools, five junior high buildings, the transportation facility and the operations facility.

Officials said cameras should be installed at all building entry points, stairwells, corridors, main office, and other interior common areas, and outside in the parking lots, on the exterior of the buildings, driveways, parking lots and other outside areas. This is estimated to cost $1,500,000 and take 11 weeks to complete.

The total cost for all cameras at all schools is $2,250,000.

At the bottom of the priority list is replacement of the concrete dumpster pads and enclosures at 21 building locations. This work, estimated to cost $575,00 would take 11 weeks.

Dates all schools were completed were: Oswego High 1964; Oswego East 2004; Bednarcik 2002; Murphy 2008; Plank 2006; Thompson 1977; Traughber 2008; East View 1957; Boulder Hill 1961; Churchill 2005; Fox Chase 2001; Grande Park 2007; Homestead 2002; Hunt Club 2008; Lakewood Creek 2004; Long Beach 1967; Old Post 1996; Prairie Point 2005; Southbury 2008; The Wheatlands 2001; Wolf's Crossing 2005; and Brokaw 2007.

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