Ptacek: South School delays and Wagner reaction

By Benjamin Cox on October 27, 2018 at 11:15am

The School District 117 Board of Education will not meet on their regular third Wednesday of the Month for November. That was, however, only one surprising thing to be announced at the session earlier this month.

During the regular 6 p.m. Committee of the Whole session that precedes every District 117 Board of Education meeting, Bob Roads noted some issues that have arisen in regards to the ongoing projects after the initial renovations of South Elementary School earlier this year.

Superintendent of School District 117 Steve Ptacek describes an issue with brand new Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems which the district is apparently familiar.

“Apparently, it always takes – so we’re told – about 12 months for any new HVAC system to completely tune in. We had the same thing at Lincoln and the exact same thing at Jacksonville Middle School. Initially, just getting all the equipment online – making sure it’s all working together – is a problem. Then there is coordinating all the thermostats and getting the airflow throughout the building. This is normal… Plus, the building only had window air conditioning units before. It’s going to take multiple months to get a brand new, very advanced HVAC system that runs throughout the entire building to tune in.”

Ptacek offers the latest updates for the South School gymnasium floor and the school’s marquee.

“With how the project played out this summer, we were unable to get the gymnasium floor done before school started. It doesn’t look like the job can be done, with the amount of time that it would take, until next summer. We’re also considering removing the gymnasium aspect of the contract with our general contractor – JohnCo., who has been otherwise excellent. This would allow them to move on to other projects, and we could establish a new, separate plan to absolutely have a brand new gym floor by next summer.”

Ptacek explains that flooded carpet in the administrative office at South School not caused by the district was fixed.

“The problem that was causing the excess water has been fixed and has been connected to the sewer line. The company that made that error has replaced all the carpeting throughout the administrative office and into the front.”

The Board was also informed by Board Secretary Corinne Wagner that she will be resigning from her post at the next Board meeting. Ptacek says her contributions to the Jacksonville and surrounding community will not soon be forgotten.

“It’s definitely with a heavy heart that we took the news of Cori Wagner finding a great opportunity in her personal life. She had an idea this was happening, and had made clear in the past to the Board that she was not going to run again in the spring, as hers was one of four seats to be elected in the Consolidated April election. She has been an amazing Board member, and so much has happened in Jacksonville during her time. All of us are going to miss her. She has given countless hours to this community, so if you see her, tell her thank you, because she deserves to be acknowledged.”

The next District 117 Board of Education meeting will be on November 12th, the second Tuesday of next month. The meeting will be one week and one day ahead of the normal pattern: one week because of Thanksgiving break and one day because of the Geography Bowl taking place Wednesday the 13th.