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December 15, 2017

11/22/2017 10:52:00 AM
Unit 2 board reviews health/life safety survey
The latest round of health/life safety projects may cost Robinson Unit 2 schools a lot less than 10 years ago.

The preliminary results of the state-mandated 10-year Health/Life Safety Survey were discussed during Monday's Unit 2 school board meeting. Based on architect's estimates, Robinson school may need more than $2.8 million in Life Safety repairs and renovations during the next decade. That is down from $6.5 to $7 million in the 2007 survey.

All schools are required under state law to have a certified architect perform a Health/Life Safety Survey every 10 years. The survey looks at renovations needed to keep up with ever-changing state standards. It also determines which projects need to be done immediately and which ones can wait.

Once a school board sets a course of action, it must be approved by the regional superintendent's office and the Illinois State Board of Education. Bonds are usually issued to pay for the work.

One of the bigger projects would be repairs to the Robinson High School gymnasium floor. It is estimated RHS will need about $1.5 million in work, with most of the money possibly going toward repairing the floor.

Efforts are still underway to determine the root cause of moisture damage to the floor. Board President Dennis Inboden said he is all in favor of getting the repairs done quickly, but wants to make sure "we really fix the problem" when the work is done.

Lincoln Elementary School needs an estimated $1 million in work.

Several years ago, all exterior walls of the original structure were tuckpointed except the south wall along the courtyard. Moisture has seeped in and some exterior bricks are pushing outward, while some interior ones are pushing in, Superintendent Josh Quick said.

To repair the damage, it may be necessary to remove all the bricks then re-lay them, he explained. This could cost an estimated $800,000.

Washington Elementary School and Nuttall Middle School need relatively little work, with estimates set at $154,000 and $100,000, respectively.

NMS may yet become the site of the Robinson Soccer League's home field. Board members Monday heard an update on the proposal from Rick Guyer.

The league would level the field and plant Bermuda grass on it. The field would not only have room for soccer, but two football fields for the Robinson Junior Football League to use for practice. NMS physical education classes and cross country would also use the area.

"The reason this location is the best is that it helps the most people," Guyer said.

Renovations to the area would cost an estimated $25,000. The league is looking into fund-raising and is seeking a grant from the Mary Heath Foundation. It recently was awarded one for $10,000 from the Silas and Ruth Claypool Foundation.

The league has a junior-high team. It plays in spring and fall and just completed its fourth season. A high-school team, that will play only in spring, is expected to launch in May.

The preliminary tax levy was approved and will be posted. The board will take final action on it during the Dec. 18 meeting at the central office. A Truth in Taxation hearing will precede the meeting.

Quick said the overall tax rate is dropping from 4.0285 this year to 3.996. This reflects reductions in both the Social Security and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund rates.

In other business, the board hired Elizabeth Yoder as a bus driver and Tracy Tipton as a cross-category paraprofessional at NMS. Deacon Fuller was approved as a volunteer assistant track coach and Jim Poettker was promoted to head custodian at WES.

Resignations were accepted from head RHS football coach Tim Nolen, LES evening custodian Rick Sparks and WES dishwasher Sarah Mikeworth.

Also, Julia Granderson resigned as both flex bus driver and RHS lunchroom supervisor.

The board continued considering options for bringing local pre-kindergarten programs under one roof and approved the district risk management plan as presented.





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