Wheaton school prioritizes projects for renovation

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

School to receive $22,000 in reimbursements on new bus

The Wheaton school district has set goals for some projects that need attention in its buildings, and will be purchasing a new air-conditioned trip bus.

Lance Massey, Wheaton school district superintendent, said CTS is a company that the district has done business with before, a group that will come out and give a no-obligation, no-cost estimate.

“They will say, ‘This is what it will cost you to do all the projects that you would like to do,’” Massey said. “That just gives us some ideas of what those projects might cost.”

Massey said he and the director of maintenance don’t necessarily keep up on building trends and the cost of materials as well as a contractor would.

“To get some companies out, they want to charge you for an estimate,” Massey said. “The first step was to give the board a list of projects that need to be done.”

Massey said the district isn’t in the financial position to do all of those renovations at once, and they will have to prioritize the options.

“There are projects that we see needs with,” Massey said. “I’ve sent to the board a summary review of projects, and what their estimated cost may be.”

Massey said the next step would be in January to come back and decide if the district wants to start seeking bids, and getting the priorities lined out and going threw them.

“There are a few different options that we can go with, as far as payment options,” Massey said. “What a lease purchase does is it allows the district to pay over some time for some of those renovations, and that may be the option that our board goes with.

“The board may decide to use our funds and get those renovations one at a time.”

According to Massey, this is all on a beginning levels of discussion at the time.

“I have mentioned to the board that we are in pretty unstable times, in terms of steel, aluminum and even some electronic prices,” Massey said. “For example, if a few years ago, if we went to buy computers and got a bid, we would ask how long that bid was good for, and it would be good for 30-60-90 days.

“Now, if we ask how long a bid is good for, we are being told that is is 30 days and no longer than that.”

Massey said there are a few doors that are giving the district challenges that they can’t buy replacement parts for, and a leak in the roof is something the district is always looking at as a high priority renovation.

“We aren’t at a point where the issues are causing a safety or security problems,” Massey said. “However, we need to make some changes so it doesn’t get to that point.”

In other business, the Wheaton school district did receive the Volkswagen Clean Diesel grant for a new bus.

“We get 25 percent reimbursement up to $22,000,” Massey said. “It was recommended for the bus that we approved to buy to have air-conditioning.”

According to Massey, the bus that was approved will cost $97,665.

“We will get $22,000 back in reimbursements on that bus,” Massey said. “The new bus will be utilized as a trip bus for athletics and activities.”

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