District 117 approves JMS bids, names principal for Alternative School

By Ryne Turke on April 20, 2016 at 11:58pm

Final bid packages for the Jacksonville Middle School project have been accepted.

District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek reviews the deal board members approved with BLDD Architects and Holland Construction Wednesday night.

“There is about $2.5 million in savings compared to the last bid proposals. We went through a value engineering process to look at all the expenses and see what was absolutely needed. We looked at what could be done with lower cost items, but would still provide the same quality of school. They were able to get the project under the $26 million dollar mark, which was the original goal.”

Board members also agreed to a lease agreement with EMod LLC for the Jacksonville Middle School modular classrooms. The 12-month lease, installation and removal cost will run the district $438,820. Sections of the school will use the modular classrooms while construction takes place.

A month ago District 117 released a proposal to consider creating an alternative school program for students with behavioral problems. Ptacek provided a brief update on the project, which is expected to start next school year.

“Jill Dillard, assistant principal at the high school, was promoted to the principal of the alternative school. She has been active in developing the educational, social and emotional planning that supports the students there. We have not been able to finalize a site for the school,” says Ptacek.

Ptacek would like to have a location for the school in place by June, at the latest.

Ptacek also brought up the possibility of hiring a fourth Dean of Students for District 117.

“They had already approved three Deans of Students at the elementary level. We have two school we feel will need a dean full-time, Washington and Lincoln. Eisenhower and North could probably share a dean at this time. South would have the dean, while serving Murrayville-Woodson as needed. I feel that the ability for the three deans to have a positive impact on the atmosphere in the school and interacting with students would be stretched very thin,” Ptacek says.

Ptacek plans to add the dean position to the May agenda.