JSD117 Central Offices highlight October Board meeting

By Benjamin Cox on October 18, 2018 at 1:36pm

One of the very last District 117 Board meetings in the Jacksonville High School Media Room was held last night.

A committee of the whole session was called to order at 6 p.m., and Bob Roads offered an update in regards to the recent construction projects for South Elementary School and the Early Childhood Center, as well as Jacksonville Middle School.

Then, after a closed session, the official Board of Education meeting began. District Superintendent Steve Ptacek made a number of announcements, including the end of the 1st quarter this Friday, and that Halloween will be a half-day. In addition, American Education Week is November 12th through the 16th.

Ptacek explains why last night’s meetings was one of the last in the JHS Media Room.

“One of the advantages of purchasing the building on State Street was the ability to use the old Jacksonville Savings Bank lobby as a permanent Board Room. Right now, we have to rearrange the entire Media Center every time we have a Board meeting, and that makes for extra work for our staff. We hope to have the finishing touches completed in time for our December board meeting.

Ptacek says why the November Board meeting was scheduled During American Education Week on Tuesday the 12th.

“The November Board meeting, at least since I’ve been here, has always been early. The Geography Bowl, to be held at Jacksonville Middle School, takes place exactly one week before Thanksgiving break starts. The next Board meeting will be held a day before the Geography Bowl.”

The Board also accepted a consideration to seek bids for asbestos removal at the newly purchased Central Offices.

“The asbestos plan for taking the rest of the Central Office and turning into our Special Services, so that we can get all of our Special Education directors and itinerant staff out of Clay Court and Walnut Court, is a little bit more expensive than we were initially predicting. However, we purchased the building at 200 West State Street for $200,000. We had been looking at other central office options that were ranging between $1,000,000 and $1,500,000. The only reason why we were making this move was to establish our new beautiful Early Childhood Center. The idea of the entire central office project costing approximately $400,000 was sort of a mental budget placement.”

The Board only accepted the consideration to begin asking contractors to submit bids. There is no set or finalized contract. However, District Treasurer Jamie Hadjan announced, as the Board was about to vote on this action item, that estimates for the job are for about $143,000.