Published April 20, 2017
Vote expected on D181 facilities plan
By Pamela Lannom
After almost four years of work, a new facilities master plan for Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 is likely to be approved next month.
Superintendent Don White brought a draft of the plan, which he acknowledged is incomplete, to Monday’s meeting for board members to review.
The 28-page document includes a detailed list of projects for the district’s eight schools totaling about $3.7 million. That amount does not include the $53 million slated to be spent on a new Hinsdale Middle School.
The Lane School has the most expensive list of projects, which includes a new roof and totals slightly more than $1 million.
The breakdown is as follows:
• The Lane, $1,053,400
• Monroe, $671,100
• Oak, $602,900
• CHMS, $513,000
• Elm, $477,500
• Madison, $160,000
• Prospect, $141,800
• Walker, $106,100
The document also includes a goal development chart and target completion dates that range from this summer to the summer of 2024.
The fact that some pages — the ones for the goal development overview and the gap analysis (showing the school’s current vs. desired condition) — have been left blank troubled board member Leslie Gray.
“I’m struggling with the need to approve a document that is not complete,” she said.
White said the plan cannot be completed for several months. Some of the work, such as having facilities committee members walk through each school, will take a significant amount of time.
“That might take a year for us to do at all nine buildings,” White said.
Board member Jennifer Burns agreed the document should be completed before receiving approval.
But board member and facilities committee Chairman Gary Clarin, who has been working on the document his entire term on the school board, took the opposite view.
“At some point we’ve got to take it and say this is where we’re at now,” he said. “There will always be something that will be brought up that needs to be addressed.”
Board President Mridu Garg, who also has been working on the plan for four years, said she would like the plan to list a date by which the gap analysis will be completed and copy added to blank pages to explain what content will be provided there. With those changes, she said, she is comfortable voting.
“I think that this document, in my mind, is ready to be approved at this point,” she said.
Board member Rich Giltner supported giving Clarin and Garg the chance to vote on the plan before their term ends.
“It’s right that you should be able to have a vote and have a say on it,” he said, adding that the new board might not be ready to address the plan immediately.
White said he will bring the revised draft to the May 2 meeting as the final action item before the newly elected members are seated. The plan is set to be reviewed annually.
About $950,000 for facilities master plan projects has been included in next year’s tentative budget, which will be discussed at an upcoming meeting, said Ken Surma, assistant superintendent for business and operations.