Eisenhower Elementary Renovation Timetable Delayed Over Supply Chain

By Benjamin Cox on January 23, 2024 at 10:09am

Photos from a tour by Eisenhower Elementary staff on November 14th, getting a peek at ongoing work. (Jacksonville School District 117 Facebook)

Jacksonville School District 117’s current phase of the Vision 117 plan has met its share of snags with renovations at two elementary schools.

Vision 117 Coordinator Bob Roads has said in previous meetings that renovations at Eisenhower Elementary School have gone much smoother than the massive renovation at Washington Elementary. Roads updated the Board of Education this past Thursday saying that despite the easier road with Eisenhower, the supply chain is once again disrupting the timeline on when the school will be finished: “I can’t say enough nice things right now about the Eisenhower project. It’s going very well. The contractors are working very hard. I think it will be a very attractive school when it’s completed. That being said, it’s going to be delayed. They are probably not going to complete the whole school until, I would say, around the first of May. The majority of the inside will be done probably by the end of March, first of April. But, they have had trouble of getting the deliveries of the metal skin that goes on the outside of the building in terms of delivery. That’s throwing everything off by about a month to six weeks.”

Roads says delays have also occurred in the cafeteria portion of the Eisenhower building. The construction crew was unable to get that wing of the building enclosed before the current poor weather hit and it has significantly slowed the project down. Roads says they are currently working to get windows installed in that portion of the building to install heat to the entire building. Otherwise, Roads says the remaining work is being steady and further progress on the building is being made each day.

On the other hand, punch list items are not completed at Washington Elementary, and are continuing to pose minor inconveniences to students and staff. Roads says that Johnco Construction is dragging its feet on completing the items: “Washington is just very slowly being worked on. As you are aware, the building has been occupied since the start of the school year. But, there are just ongoing issues at Washington that have to be addressed and secured. We are having a meeting to go over some of these issues and trying to get them resolved.”

As a result of Roads report, Superintendent Steve Ptacek removed any pay invoices from Thursday night’s action items for the Board of Education in an effort to withhold payment to Johnco and spur them into completing the work. Ptacek informed the board that the district also currently has approximately $600,000 in retainage on the project, as well as the current cost of the pay invoice. Ptacek said that the last time the district withheld payment, Johnco worked more diligently to finish some of the items on the punch list.