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An update to Evanston Township High School District 202’s comprehensive five-year Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) was presented at the Jan. 12 Board meeting. Superintendent Eric Witherspoon recommended approval of the CIP and the District’s proposed capital improvements projects for Fiscal Year 2015, which the Board unanimously approved.
Chief Financial Officer William Stafford provided an overview of capital improvement projects to be completed this fiscal year. Some projects such as the Advanced Manufacturing Lab and Geometry in Construction outdoor building site project will directly affect student learning and academic achievement, while other projects such as Voice over IP phone system upgrades and cooling tower renovations will reduce costs and increase efficiency. The FY2015 CIP project list also includes enhancements to the Lake Street tennis courts.
ETHS capital improvement projects for FY2015 include the creation of a secure and permanent outdoor site for the building of the Geometry in Construction house. (Architectural rendering provided by 3D Design Studio, Grayslake, Ill.)
Repairs and renovations to the outdoor tennis courts will result in a new ETHS Tennis Center in FY2015. (Architectural rendering provided by 3D Design Studio, Grayslake, Ill.)
The tennis court renovation will include the construction of restrooms for sports spectators as well as students, staff and volunteers working on the Geometry in Construction house.Multiple sources of funding, including bonds, grants and monies raised by the ETHS Educational Foundation, will be used to fund these capital improvement projects and meet challenges of undercapitalization, depreciation and tax caps. (See Oct. 7, 2014 D202 Board Report.)
Foundation funds will continue to play a key role, some of which are already budgeted while other monies have yet to be raised. Certain projects, such as the ETHS Planetarium upgrades will be totally financed from Foundation gifts.
“Thanks to the ETHS Educational Foundation, careful budgeting and setting priorities, we have been able to make significant improvements and upgrades to our facilities in recent years,” said Dr. Witherspoon. “We are giving ETHS a new look while at the same time being good stewards and taking care of this beautiful school for generations to come.”
As part of the recommendation to the D202 Board to approve the five-year CIP, which includes funding for fiscal year 2015 projects, the District requested the transfer of $4.9 million from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Capital Improvements Fund. This supports the comprehensive five-year projection of the proposed capital projects and helps meet the District’s overall goals, which contribute to academic achievement, public health and safety of ETHS students, teachers and staff. Because capital improvement funds are separate from the District’s operating budget and project implementation is planned over several years, the CIP will help guide financial decisions and make the best use of limited resources.