Construction projects at South, JMS discussed by D.117 Board

By Benjamin Cox on September 20, 2018 at 9:26am

Several post-summer construction projects were the topic of discussions at last night’s District 117 meetings.

The Jacksonville School District 117 Board of Education met at 6 p.m. last night for a committee of the whole session. The latest construction reports, namely for South Elementary and Jacksonville Middle Schools, were offered to the Board and discussed. Neither of these reports were particularly promising, but both showed the potential for each of the problems to be resolved, all the while not costing Jacksonville taxpayers a dime.

Superintendent Steve Ptacek says there was an error at South Elementary that led to a spill in the administrative offices.

“We wished to have had an open house for the community from South Elementary at this point in time but that is slightly delayed. A couple of weeks ago on a Wednesday, I got a text at about 5:45 in the morning that was showing water in the administrative complex and out into the hallway, and this was right after the school had been completed and cleared for student uses. What happened was an employee of one of the sub-contractors separate from our main contractor, JohnCo., failed to connect the roof drains that were going through a chase to the lateral into the drainage system. Therefore, the water coming off the roof in a heavy rainstorm was pooling up and seeping back into the building. All of the carpet in the administrative offices has been pulled up. The drywall along the floor line just a couple inches over the floor has been cut out, and we’re waiting for the new carpet to come in. This is being paid for by the sub-contractor whose employee incorrectly installed the drainage system, so it won’t be paid for by taxpayers.”

Ptacek also mentions the delay of planned graphics within Jacksonville Middle School. Ptacek says that a new method will be tested and applied for successful graphics.

“The graphics, when they were installing them, would peel on the walls, and every time they tried to pull them off to reposition them, they were pulling the paint off from the wall and creating lumps behind the graphics. We’re currently in a level of disagreement between many of the different players, which would be from the architect BLDD, to Holland the construction manager, to Evans Construction – Evans had that part in their contract in regards to who is responsible for doing the graphics installation correctly.”

Ptacek says that a new method will be tested and applied for successful graphics.

“Holland has done a tremendous job of finding a potential fix. We’ll be testing that out. They would be putting some specific sealed paint that has to cure for about 20 or 30 days, and then they’re going to test a small patch of the graphics on that paint to see if it can be properly installed. We advised the Board tonight that there is still a bit of debate in regards to who will be paying for that, but we are confident that this will not be coming out of district monies.”

The purchase of the new central office building adjacent to Mulligans on the square included the little green building in between. That was reportedly a recording studio. Ptacek says the district plans to modify and prepare that space for the district’s special education department.

“We were going to find a tenant to rent to, but then we discovered our limitations in regards to who we can rent that space to. In the meantime investigating that space, we realized that our special education department could really use that space. Getting it prepared for them, it’s an old building, so there is some abatement of asbestos that needs to be done. We’re moving a couple of walls to make it work for them, and the whole project is most likely going to cost about 84 to 85 thousand dollars. I asked the Board to put in a budget for the project of $100,000, but one of the main reasons we can do this is because the South project is coming in $500,000 under budget, so we can afford to invest in projects like this.”

A complete list of discussion topics from Board of Education meeting minutes can be found in the Public Board Book Access on the official District 117 website,