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The District 202 School Board approved an updated capital improvement budget for this summer at its March 12 meeting, which includes plans for a covered gym entrance and updated Chem/Phy labs.  

The $6 million plan was adjusted from what was originally approved in December, including postponement of resurfacing of parking lot No. 4a, one first-floor roof, and the auditorium HVAC system as well as cost increases for Entrance No. 3, the gym wing elevator, and the 1233-35 Hartrey project, said the report to the Board.

The Board tentatively approved a $6 million bond issuance which will fund most of the projects. The report also says that the full cost of the Chem/Phys labs will be funded by a large donor and ETHS Foundation fundraising. The District will hold a public hearing on the issuance of the bonds on April 9; and on May 7, the Board will consider a final resolution to issue the bonds providing proceeds in time to fund summer projects.

The gym project is scheduled to begin the week of April 30.  A new covered entrance will not only protect visitors and students from the elements, but will help make the entrance more visible and address wayfinding challenges, says the report. Updates will allow safety personnel to securely screen visitors similar to Entrance No. 2.  A new elevator will provide accessibility to the second-floor gyms, and two new single-use restrooms will be added near the upstairs gyms. The project is expected to be completed Sept 10 and will cost about $3.3 million.

“This part of the building has not been renovated since it was built in the 1960s. Any renovation of the space should be thoughtful and thorough” stated the report to the Board.

The Chem/Phys lab renovations are scheduled for the week of June 5 with an end date of Aug. 12. The $939,000 construction project will not interfere with summer school classes. 

Renovations have been evaluated for several years. The current science labs are part of the original building and date back to the 1920s. 

“The original design is not conducive to current science teaching practices,” says the report. “The chemistry room (H318) has become worn down from constant chemical usage. Most of the cabinetry is distressed, destroyed, and unusable. There is little storage in the room for general equipment and the current lab stations do not allow for proper teacher supervision. It is necessary to repair and update the aging building infrastructure, mainly electrical, plumbing, fume hoods, and chemical storage rooms. The renovation planned for the summer of 2018 will improve safety by adding chemical showers, proper fume hoods, and ADA accessibility.”  

Other improvements that will be made this year include mechanical, electric, plumbing, masonry, windows, roofs and toilets.