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At its Oct. 8 meeting, the District 202 School Board heard information about a rolling five-year, $28 million capital improvement plan for improvements to Evanston Township High School facilities. With this plan, the first year will be funded, and the remaining four years will provide a framework for future projects. According to a memo from Chief Financial Officer William Stafford and Deputy Chief Financial Officer Mary Rodino, capital assets generally have a useful life of 20 years or more.

Mr. Stafford and Jose Ferraro, director of operations and maintenance, presented the information. The 2013-14 plan calls for $5.1 million in capital projects, financed through a combination of general obligation bonds, funds from foundations and other grants. Projects slated are putting a new roof over the pool, installing new auditorium rigging, outfitting two STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) labs, creating a student success center and installing a new phone system.

Future projects include upgrading the Lake Street tennis courts and renovating locker rooms and the planetarium, Mr. Stafford said.

Two emergency telephones will be installed on Dodge Avenue, one at Church Street and one at Lake Street. Board member Jonathan Baum asked whether the City would be willing to assume part of the $50,000 cost, since the telephones will be a part of overall public safety. Mr. Stafford said he would speak with City representatives about that.

Board member Doug Holt asked if it would be possible to expedite the installation of additional cameras, moving that project into the current year’s program. Mr. Stafford said he and his staff would analyze that and report at the next meeting what projects would have to be shifted in order to install the cameras this year.

“It’s a good thing to have a five-year plan, to know what the beast is,” said Mr. Stafford. He addied, “It’s good to review it, because priorities change.”

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...