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By MATT DANIELS
Rantoul Press assistant editor
Future construction projects at Rantoul Township High School are never far from Superintendent Scott Amerio’s mind.
Two major projects that could take place next summer were discussed at the district’s buildings and grounds committee meeting Nov. 26. Future discussion and possible decisions on the projects may be made at next Monday night’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
The most expensive project is replacing the east wing elevator. At the December 2011 board meeting, the school board unanimously approved replacing the elevator, which at the time, Amerio said needed to be replaced by 2013 to meet regulations. Once the district found out last spring the elevator did not have to be replaced by 2013, plans were put on hold for the project, but appear to have resumed.
Amerio said replacing the east wing elevator will cost about $375,000.
The high school also is looking into replacing the ceiling tiles and floor tiles in a 1962 addition to the east wing.
“It’s basically the south end of the east wing,” Amerio said. “They built the east wing in the 1950s, and the first floor ran the entire length it is now. The second and third floors actually ran short. There was no south end to it. They added on the last four classrooms. The ceiling tile and floor tile in that addition contain asbestos.
We’re looking at abating that stuff to get it out of there and putting in new floor tile and ceiling tiles.”
The project bears an estimated price tag of $230,000.
“Once we get the projects we did this past summer paid for, we’re still going to have about $940,000 worth of bond money left,” Amerio said. “The bond money is going to pay for these projects, too.”
Amerio said the district would like to start putting those two projects out for bid by January at the latest.
The committee also discussed possibly installing a security fence in the south parking lot. Amerio said initial estimates for the project were about $40,000.
“We talked about not necessarily going forward with that right now but possibly getting some more detail on it,” Amerio said. “Basically we’re just trying to increase the security on the campus. It’s a little expensive because it has to tie into your fire alarm system. The gates have to open if the fire alarm goes off.”
Phone system upgrade update: The board approved 7-0 at its September meeting upgrading the school’s phone system at a cost of $37,076 from Genesis Adaptive, Bloomington. At the time, Amerio said he hoped the new system, which was purchased in an effort to reduce dropped and disconnected phone calls at the school, would be in place by early October. Amerio said the school has the new phones, but the system has not been upgraded yet. He said after talking to the company that a likely date for the new phone system is once students arrive back from winter break in early January.
Nominating petitions can still be picked up: One current board member, Marla Deem, is not running for re-election in next April’s election. Amerio said the three other current board members up for re-election next spring — Doug Jordahl, Anne Reale and Kelly Foster — have all picked up nominating petitions to run in next year’s race. Newcomer Katie Carver has also picked up a petition to run for the board. A candidate needs at least 50 signatures from registered voters to file.