Wheaton school district plans major renovation

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Massey: ‘Students see their learning environment get better’

CTS Group presented a proposed project solution to the Wheaton school board, which included all possible projects, timelines and potential costs.

CTS Group presented a potential budget for the project list at $503,750 to $783,767.

The project list includes: replacement of high school and junior high exterior windows, replacement of three high school and junior high exterior doors, two cafeteria and kitchen exterior doors at the high school and junior high, two exterior doors in the elementary, a roof coating on the high school and junior high buildings, preschool building electrical upgrades and high school and junior high programmable HVAC thermostats.

CTS Group has worked with many school districts in the area and has a 70 percent repeat customer rate.

A CTS Group presenter said by using the CTS Group, the customer gets a single point of accountability, meaning there will be several contractors working on different projects at the same time, and instead of communication being lost, there will be a project manager who can communicate through all points of the project.

Lance Massey, Wheaton superintendent said CTS Group understands the needs of a school district, and has guaranteed to stay on time, have no change orders and a gross maximum price, as well as offer good communication and listening skills.

According to the presentation, the CTS Group delivers performance based benefits to a project, including guaranteed savings on energy and operational costs and selection of equipment based on the best quality and best value.

Massey said the pricing came in at just about what he had expected.

“We had an idea of pricing, as we had talked through some of those projects,” he said. “In the April board meeting, we will get some hard numbers and some alternative options if we think the gross maximum budget is too high. “

Massey said that gives the board the opportunity to make the final decisions.

“We have roofs that have some issues,” he said. “We had done some repairs on them a few years ago, but we are ready for phase two to get it where it needs to be.”

According to Massey, the CTS Group is not only interested in getting the projects done for the best price, but also the best equipment possible to make sure that the district is making the best investment all around.

“They had done a project on the elementary school roof for us a few years ago that gave us a 30-year warranty and a great product,” he said. “The district is looking for the same things with this new project.”

Massey said the window issues have been on the radar for a few years now.

“It is one of those things that that causes glare issues in the classrooms, and that doesn’t create the best learning environment,” he said. “Those windows were put in so long ago that they are outdated and creating a number of issues.”

Massey said the electrical upgrade in the preschool building is needed.

“We bought that building and it used to be a funeral home,” he said. “It basically isn’t set up properly for the campus like we would like it.

“The pump for the septic is another issue. It worked fine for what it was, but now as a preschool, it’s not able to keep up as well.”

Massey said the big project that is on the list is the exterior door replacements.

“Not all of them will be replaced, but we are going to work on the doors that need it the most,” he said. “The doors that are continuously needing maintenance work and we are at a point where we can no longer buy parts for them.

“Sometimes, the doors don’t close back correctly. Then, all of a sudden, those doors that have secure entrances and require a card reader don’t close back correctly, and that defeats the point of the security measures.”

Massey said once the price and project list is set in April, the CTS Group won’t exceed that pricing.

“Even if they are working on a project and realize it will cost more than planned, the CTS Group will take care of that additional price and not increase the gross maximum budget for the district,” he said. “At this point, we would like to take care of all of the projects at one time, but if the pricing comes back outside of the board’s comfort level, we will get to a point of the big priority items.”

Massey said the CTS Group will finish all projects during the summer time.

“This is a great timeline for so many projects,” he said. “As far as summer school goes, it won’t affect those classes. We have plenty of space to move things around if we need to.”

Massey said it is always exciting to watch the student see their learning environment get better.

“I tell the teachers all of the time to ask for what we need and not always what we want,” he said. “These projects really are a need, and in my mind this complete project utilizes our resources and extends the life of our building and learning environment for our students.”

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