District 117 approves building plans for Turner Project

By Ryne Turke on July 15, 2015 at 8:53pm

Building plans for the Turner Renovation Project were revealed Wednesday and District 117 board members liked what they saw.

Leaders from BLDD Architects presented their ideas to board members for over an hour during a special Committee of the Whole meeting.

District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek says the new building will be inspiring for the students and serve as a showpiece for the community.

Ptacek talked about the improvements made to the plans in recent weeks by BLDD Architects.

“We had some issues with the Dean Office and there was an upstairs Fitness Room that we decided to break up into two Title One rooms,” says Ptacek.

“There was a drastic change in the Auditorium. The previous plans had a sliding out row of seats that would have interfered with being able to use the Auditorium and Cafeteria at the same time. The new plan has seat are above in a balcony, so we will not have interference with having classes in the Auditorium during lunch time. This is a much better design.”

After board members unanimously approved the recommendations, Ptacek announced Phase Two of the Vision 117 plan will be released during a public information meeting on August 6th at Jacksonville High School.

In other action, District 117 approved Holland Construction as the official Construction Manager of the Turner Vision 117 Process.

A contract between the two parties was scheduled to be finalized last month, but was delayed for several weeks. Ptacek says the rest of the Vision 117 Process will be on a “compressed schedule to meet the Fall 2017 deadline.”

The Jacksonville High School Athletic Director/Assistant Principal job description received overwhelming support from board members.

During a meeting last month, Ptacek explained the new position would play a big role on the JHS administrative team and fill a number of needs at the school.

The salary of the new position is expected to increase up to $10-thousand a year.

The emergency days school schedule was also passed by board members. The schedule, which would only be used during bad weather conditions, would allow the superintendent to begin school two hours after the normal start time, if conditions improve.

8 Points Charter School’s request to shorten the academic calendar from 190 to 180 days for next school year was approved as well.

The cut backs are being put in place to accommodate financial concerns, such as daycare fees and transportation costs.