Robinson Unit 2 took another step toward finding a new architectural firm and agreed to help pay for resurfacing the Washington Park tennis courts Monday.
Six architectural firms recently submitted information about their services at the district's request. Copies of the information was presented to board members for review by Superintendent Josh Quick.
The goal is to narrow down the candidates to the top three. Representatives from these firms will be interviewed and projects on which they have worked will be visited. Once a top choice has been selected, negotiations over fees will begin.
Action on hiring a firm will likely occur at the June 19 board meeting.
It's been a dozen years since the district hired an architect. The board hopes to find a firm to handle the upcoming Health and Life Safety survey and possibly other upcoming projects.
Every 10 years under state law, school districts must have architects perform surveys identifying Health and Life Safety projects and offering plans for the work. Quick hopes the survey can begin this summer.
The board wants not only to hire a firm for the survey, but to find one with ideas on items such as long-term facility planning and traffic flow changes.
It was suggested once a firm has been selected that a committee including community members might work with it on some projects, particularly the matter of traffic control.
Board members have long been concerned about changing flow patterns around the schools to improve safety, especially in the area of Nuttall Middle School and Robinson High School.
Also Monday, the board entered into an updated intergovernmental agreement with the City of Robinson.
Unit 2 has long had an agreement with the city allowing the use of the Washington Park tennis courts by the RHS tennis team. Under terms of the new 10-year agreement, the district will contribute about one-third of the price of resurfacing the courts.
The project is expected to cost $96,000 to $97,000, Quick said, with Unit 2 pitching in about $32,000.
Unit 2 also renewed agreements with the Embarras River Basin Agency and the Crawford County Health Department.
Under the ERBA agreement, the district will work to coordinate supplies and efforts with the agency's Headstart preschool program. The CCDH agreement allows the department to provide substitute school nurses when needed and also sets up fees and procedures for working together on various health matter.
Board members gave tentative approval for proposed amendments to the 2016-17 budget.
The changes include only one surprise: about $160,000 more in Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax revenues than were originally expected. The district is getting almost $900,000 in CPPRT funds, up from the $740,000 expected when the budget was prepared last year.
It came as no surprise that revenues from the state are lower than forecast.
Other changes included technology loans received by Unit 2 to purchase additional computer equipment.
The amended budget will be on display for 30 days before a final vote in June.
In personnel matters, the board hired Kristen Coartney as a Lincoln Elementary School special education teacher, Dara Richey as a NMS special education teacher and Andrew Daily and Scott Zane as RHS social studies teachers.
Holly Gallagher, Mary Carter and Julie Taylor were hired for the summer paint crew and Tracy Stratton and Stephanie Davis were hired as temporary summer maintenance workers.
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Jessica Sisil was re-assigned as NMS sixth-grade language arts teacher to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Ashley Stafford.
Resignations were accepted from Washington Elementary School second-grade teacher Jennifer Holler, WES reading aide Sherry Heidorn and RHS 2020 class sponsors Steve and Janet Jenkins. All are effective at the end of the school year.
LES head custodian Rick Garrard was granted a leave of absence.
In a related matter, the board met in closed session to discuss negotiations with the Community Unit Two Education Association.
In other business, the board:
Called for bids for cafeteria, transportation and maintenance supplies for the 2017-18 school year.
Approved Illinois Elementary School Association membership renewal for LES and NMS.