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September 20_ 2010 - Brookwood School District 167

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September 20_ 2010 - Brookwood School District 167 Powered By Docstoc
					                BROOKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT 167
               COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING
                      SEPTEMBER 20, 2010
      BOARD ROOM – ADMINISTRATIVE & DIAGNOSTIC CENTER


I. CALL TO ORDER

   President Arthur Taylor called the Committee of
   the Whole meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

   Following the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call     5 Present
   was answered by: Pettis, Brunson, Taylor,         2 Absent
   Plott, and Birmingham

   Absent: M. Snoddy and A. Jennings


II. PRESENTATION REGARDING BROOKWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL

   Mario Planera from the firm of DeTella Planera Architects
   presented an overview of services performed by an architect
   and reviewed the preliminary results of the ten-year life
   safety survey. Mr. Planera has been the district’s
   architect since 1993 and represents 20 elementary and high
   school districts and colleges in the area. He stated that
   an architect represents the life safety standards for the
   school district in the same way an attorney represents the
   legal issues for a school district. His firm has done,
   among other things, the HVAC work at Brookwood Junior High
   and the additions to Longwood and Hickory Bend Schools.

   He indicated that when a school district is going to
   undertake a building project, the architect first provides
   an estimate of how much the project will cost. The
   architect then draws the designs and after approval by the
   Board, writes the bid specifications and puts them out to
   bid. The architect helps the district advertise the bids
   and is present when the district opens the bids. The
   architect reviews the bids, does some homework on the
   lowest responsible bidder, and makes a recommendation to
   the district. Projects are always open to all qualified
   bidders.

   Mr. Planera stated that he is close to completing the ten-
   year life safety survey for all four schools and the
   Administrative Center. Once the ten-year life safety
   survey is completed, the document will be posted on the
   state’s IWAS system.
                             1
Mr. Planera indicated that the ten-year life safety survey
report follows the state guidelines and format. Items in

the report are numbered beginning with the following
letters:
       A=Architectural (walls, doors, structural systems,
         roofs).
       P=Plumbing (piping, restroom fixtures, etc.).
       M=Mechanical (heating, ventilating and cooling
         systems).
       E=Electrical (lighting, power, fire alarm, public
         address and related systems).

In addition items in the report are given the following
priorities:
       A=Urgent items (required by code and should be
        completed within one year).
       B=Required items (required by code and should be
        completed within five years).
       C=Recommended items (recommended for other
        purposes such as handicapped accessibility, energy
        efficiency, security, or to comply with current
        building codes and school standards).

The report is broken down into the following columns:
       Item Number
       Location
       Description of the Problem
       Code Reference
       Course of Action
       Estimated Cost of Item

Mr. Planera gave a brief overview of the history of life
safety and how it came to be.

Mr. Taylor asked how the architect gets an estimate of the
cost to repair an item. Mr. Planera responded that the
estimate is based on average costs and the competitive
bidding process.

Mr. Planera reviewed some of the findings for the Middle
School under each category (architectural, plumbing,
mechanical, and electrical). At the end of the report there
is a summary of the three priorities (A, B, C) with an
associated total cost for each. The estimate for Category A
is $24,910; Category B is $729,365, and Category C is
                             2
$1,530,500.

Mr. Planera stated that as old as the Middle School is,
it’s in good shape. There is nothing terribly wrong with
the building. He stated that a lot of the repairs listed
in the safety survey can be done by district personnel.

Mr. Planera explained the difference between the ten-year
life safety survey and the assessment of Brookwood Middle
School that was done in February of 2008. The assessment
that was done in 2008 was a list of improvements that could
be made to the Middle School. Currently, there are
problems at the Middle School that are not considered life
safety but are also not desirable. For example, you have to
go through the library to get from one area of the building
to another. There is a part of the building that is
disconnected from the rest of the building. There is a
lack of security. The chair lift goes to only one level of
the building.

Ms. Birmingham stated her first concern is that she wanted
an unbiased report on what needs to be done to the Middle
School. She stated that it is a 100 year old building.
Unemployment is high and the property values in Glenwood
are decreasing and the economy is still bad. If the
District sold bonds to do the work to improve the Middle
School, the community must pay for it. The Board and the
community need to decide what they want to have done
regarding the Middle School. She feels that the Middle
School could be spruced up. She feels that the District
should focus on test scores and if the economy improves,
then the other work could be done.

Mr. Planera explained that items A and B on the ten-year
life safety survey must be done. C items are suggestions
but are not required. He also stated that the ten-year
life safety survey is an unbiased report that follows state
codes and regulations.

Ms. Birmingham asked Mr. Planera if he had any interest in
any bidders. He responded no, he has no sub contractors.
Ms. Birmingham stated that it is past the deadline to put a
referendum on the ballot, so the district would have to
issue bonds to pay for this and that means the community
will have to pay. Ms. Birmingham asked if everything on
the report was completed, how would the District pay for
it. Mr. Planera responded that school district financing
was out of his area of expertise.
                             3
Dr. Hollich stated that the A items are already in the
budget and can be done in-house. The District has healthy
fund balances that can be used for the B items. The C
items are things that aren’t broken now or that need
immediate attention but will most likely need to be
addressed in the future.

Ms. Birmingham stated that back in June or July, it was
going to cost seven or eight million dollars to bring the
Middle School up to par. There is so much information that
the Board has to digest. If the District had money, all of
these items seem great.

Mr. Planera stated that the District needs to focus on the
A and B items because once this ten-year life safety survey
is posted in IWAS, the District would be out of compliance.
ISBE expects the A & B items to be fixed. The role of the
architect is to certify to ISBE that the items have been
fixed.

Mrs. Plott stated there is a big difference in the cost of
air conditioning from the 2008 report (two million) to this
report (four million).

Ms. Birmingham asked if the items in this report are the
bare minimum to maintain the electrical as this report
shows no new electrical upgrades. Mr. Planera responded
yes. Mr. Planera explained that the current life safety
code does not require air conditioning. The building is
assessed using the code from 1984.

Mrs. Brunson asked when the ten-year life safety survey
will be completed. Mr. Planera responded within a week.
Mrs. Brunson asked when the report will be posted in IWAS.
Mr. Planera responded that the District tells him when to
post it. Mr. Taylor asked if the District finishes upgrades
during the year after the report is posted on the web site,
will those upgrades be posted on the web site. Mr. Planera
responded that the site would be updated when the District
submits a certificate of completion.

Dr. Hollich expressed her appreciation to Mr. Planera for
getting the draft of the ten-year life safety survey done
for tonight’s meeting.

Mrs. Pettis stated that the District must do items A & B
but the Board could decide to do additional items.
                             4
    Ms. Birmingham stated that if the District has no money,
    these items won’t be done. Mr. Planera responded that the
    District could tell the state there is no money for this
    project, ask for an extension of time, and see what
    happens. Ms. Birmingham asked if there is any type of state
    or federal grants to help schools with something like this.
    Mr. Planera responded that there is a DCEO grant and he
    suggested the District talk with their local legislator.

III. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

    A gentleman in the audience asked who commissioned Mr.
    Planera to do this ten year study and are there any other
    firms who do this type of study. Dr. Hollich responded that
    Mr. Planera has served as the District’s architect for over
    15 years and he did the ten-year life safety survey free of
    charge. This type of study would normally cost $20,000 and
    up. The gentleman asked if bids for the work would go to
    him or the district. Dr. Hollich responded that bids go to
    the District and Mr. Planera would review them with the
    district.

    Mr. Myers asked if Mr. Planera will get a fee when the
    District goes out to bid on a project. He also stated that
    just because the District has been dealing with Mr. Planera
    for 15 years doesn’t make it right. Mr. Taylor asked what
    makes it wrong. Mr. Myers responded it doesn’t. Mr. Myers
    stated that air conditioning is not required and if air
    conditioning was installed, the wiring would need to be
    upgraded. Dr. Hollich responded that the current wiring is
    safe but isn’t adequate for air conditioning.

    Mr. Malone stated that air conditioning at the Middle
    School would cost 2.4 million dollars and that does not
    include the cost of re-wiring the whole building. He asked
    how much it would cost to do the re-wiring. Mr. Planera
    responded upgrading the electrical for future air
    conditioning would cost around $200,000.

    Ms. Birmingham asked if it was determined that additional
    toilets need to be installed, could that be done? Mr.
    Planera responded yes.

    Dr. Hollich stated she was surprised that an elevator is
    not required for the Middle School. Mr. Planera stated that
    it is not a requirement but life safety money could be used
    to pay for one. Mrs. Pettis stated that wheelchair
                                 5
accessibility should be considered at the Middle School.
Mr. Planera responded that the chair ramp was installed in
the 1990’s with life safety money.

Mr. Winston asked if the District were to spend money on
re-wiring the building, wouldn’t it make sense to go ahead
and install the air conditioning at the same time. Mr.
Planera stated that mechanical systems are more money than
electrical systems.

Mr. Winston asked the difference in cost to do “patch” work
at the Middle School vs. a new school. Dr. Hollich
responded that in the 2008 report, the total cost to add
air conditioning, a new learning center, and an additional
10,000 square feet was going to cost between six and seven
million dollars. Building a brand new school was going to
cost between eight and ten million dollars. Mr. Winston
stated that if the District built a new school, nothing
much would have to be done for the next 50 years.

Dr. Hollich responded that if the District puts six-seven
million dollars into the Middle School, we would still have
an old building. A brand new school would cost just a
little more.

Mr. Malone asked how much a new school would cost. Dr.
Hollich responded that in 2008 it was between eight and ten
million dollars.

Ms. Birmingham stated that the Board needs to decide how
much they are willing to dip into the District’s reserves.
She stated that if people want a new school, they have to
vote for it. If the District issues bonds, the Board needs
input from the community. She stated that the Board has
difficult decisions ahead.

Mr. Myers asked if a new school would require a referendum.
Dr. Hollich responded yes. Mr. Myers responded that a
referendum won’t fly. There are many foreclosed homes in
the village. Mr. Taylor asked why we would build a new
school when the District’s enrollment is down. Dr. Hollich
reminded everyone that she recommended not going for a
referendum.

Mrs. Rowe stated that only eight-ten people decide how our
money is being spent. Taxes are going up. This decision
needs to be put before the community before spending this
money. Dr. Hollich responded that some options the Board
                             6
discussed would not affect a tax increase.

Mrs. Brunson stated that the Board needs to consider all
options. Two years ago, the Board considered the
possibility of building a new school. They discussed the
existing problems with the Middle School and the cost to
fix them versus building a new building. When the economy
went bad, this decision was tabled because the Board
members are part of the community and we knew what impact
it would have. Any decision to build a new school has to go
to the community. Now we are looking at the Middle School
again, identifying the deficiencies and seeing what can be
done. We are not willing to jeopardize the budget but we
are willing to make improvements to make the building more
functional for our students and teachers. She asked the
audience to understand that the Board is taking the
community’s comments and the teachers’ comments into
consideration. No Board member is willing to dig into the
budget to build a new school.
Ms. Birmingham stated that it was Dr. Hollich who
recommended not to go to a referendum. Ms. Birmingham
stated that in June, the Board talked about an addition to
Brookwood Junior High School. That would not require a
referendum but the District would need to sell bonds and
taxpayers would still have to pay. She stated that we must
involve the community in the decisions the Board makes and
that we all want the best for our students.

Mr. Winston stated that if you look at other communities
that have an increase in student population, the
foreclosure rates are not as high. It would be interesting
to see if they built or added on to their schools and if
so, was there a correlation.

Dr. Hollich responded that there are small drops in
enrollment everywhere. Our district is down about 100
students from last year and 300 students from 3 years ago.
Dr. Hollich stated that she did site visits to other middle
schools in 2008 and there is not a lot of new building
going on now.

Mr. Winston asked if Mr. Planera did comparisons with other
schools. Mr. Planera responded no.

Mrs. Beecher asked if improvements were made to the Middle
School, wouldn’t the money come out of the budget reserves.
Ms. Birmingham stated that we missed the deadline for a
referendum. Mrs. Plott stated that if we issued more bonds
                             7
      at some point, there would be no increase in the tax base.

      Mrs. Plott stated that when we are talking about our
      children, we should consider what they deserve. She feels
      that we should spend more than two million because our
      children deserve it.

      Mr. Malone stated that it appears to him that the Board has
      tabled the decision to build a new school. Now the Board
      needs to do items A and B on the report and make a decision
      on the C items.




   IV. ADJOURNMENT

      The meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.                  Meeting
      Brunson/Birmingham                                  Adjourned
                                                          All AYE




                                      Deborah M. Young
                                      Recording Clerk


___________________________            ____________________________
Secretary                              President




Present:   D.   Young, L. Cruz, B. Whalen, M. Brandt, M. Gena,
           B.   Sharpe, P. Davis, L. Moore, D. McField, G. Rowe,
           M.   Myers, E. Kirtley, R. Belka, C. Malone, S. Harvey,
           C.   Beecher, J. Barry, B. Elmore, R. Moehlig, J. Eason,
           A.   Winston, L. Wheeler, S. Roberts, E. Elden, and
           R.   Goldsmith.

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