Monthly Archives: April 2016

How is all this construction going to be funded?

ProjectLEAF Financial Update

The link in this post will provide you with a nice one-page handout produced by our Chief School Business Official, Tim Gronski.

In it you will find information that explains the 3 “Buckets” of money used for all five schools, and also you will see the impact on property taxpayers as a result of the bonding provided.

It is important to note that the District has completed a required 10 Year Survey of building code and accessibility compliance.  This constitutes approximately 25% of the overall construction budget and will be paid by tax dollars from the bonds and the Fire Prevention and Safety levy over the next several years.  Total cost for these compliance projects is approximately $9M.

If you want to think about it in terms of how the April 2013 sales tax referendum is used, it will generate approximately $11.3 M of the overall $35.5M pricetag.  This is roughly 32% of the overall cost of the project is borne by alternate revenue bonds to be paid back by the sales tax.

Finally, the April 2015 general obligation referendum generates approximately $16,500,000 and pays the balance of the projects beyond the code compliance and those outside of what the sales tax generates.

Perhaps the most significant point is that as the Board prepares the final scope of the project, they have so far been able to keep the entire project within the tight window of current debt obligations paid by property owners.  This is huge considering that this is the largest single build/renovation in the history of the district.  We are grateful to the school community for support of this initiative!

As always, please contact me should you have questions.  Scott Kuffel, Superintendent


ProjectLEAF Quick Update

Hello Friends of District 228!
Many of you have been involved in a variety of levels with the ProjectLEAF initiative, perhaps even back to early 2013 with the campaign for the county sales tax.

But I wanted to take a moment to try to catch you up on what’s transpired over the past several months, since we are now just past the one year anniversary of the April 2015 final referendum passing.
1.  We have accepted bids to begin work at Millikin School and will be constructing a 21st century learning space addition that will be a place where a variety of projects can engage students.  There can be science curriculum, art, even drama can be taught in this space.  We will also be remodeling the library space, creating some new student and staff meeting spaces, as well as updating floors, lights and the entryway to the building.  This project will begin this summer and all work will be completed by the opening of the 2017-18 school year.
2.¬† We will be accepting bids for the Northside School project soon and bids are due on May 18th.¬† We had a very well attended pre-bid meeting there this morning. We will be constructing a new addition at Northside, which will include a new kitchen and cafeteria, a similar 21st century learning space, new art room and new music room.¬† We will also be doing some significant renovation to the rest of the building, and even hope to construct a small parking lot at the southwest corner of the property.¬† New playground equipment is also part of those plans.¬† This project will begin this summer and follow a timeline similar to Millikin’s.
3.  There is no work at Southwest or the Middle School this summer or next school year.  Planning and design work will begin at those sites next fall.
4.  The project that seems to be carrying the most concern is at Geneseo High School.  We put together bid documents for what we hoped was approximately $19.5M worth of work.  Included was a new stadium, new 850 seat concert hall, a new 300+ seat theater, new library, 2D and 3D art rooms, a new Maker Space (more of an adult 21st century learning space mentioned for the grade schools), renovated offices and more secure vestibule entryway.  We also had planned originally to renovate the HS kitchen and dining areas.
Unfortunately our first set of bids came in roughly $3M over our budget, so the District had to decide if we would reduce the scope of work, the quality of work, or some combination of both.
When we started looking at our options, the low general contractor bidder on the HS project also happens to work in construction management.  So the architectural firm who we partnered with on the design and specifications, began conversations with this contractor to see if there was any possible way to look at the bid and try to negotiate down to an agreeable figure.  This was not possible based upon our initial bid as we had too high a percentage of difference between the bid and the budget.
At that point we were approached by this general contractor/construction management about contracting with them to serve in an advisory/liaison role with our architect to assist in reducing the scope of our HS project.  This process has gone well and the District believes we are in a position to publish some prime bid documents to move the HS project forward yet this summer.
To be clear though, there are some reductions in scope and some of the amenities that were in the original bid package.  Here is a quick rundown of what we are putting in our base bid:
Stadium with 8 lane track, field turf
Concert hall with roughly 850 seats
Theater with roughly 320 seats
1 new band practice room (not two as there is the dedicated concert hall stage)
1 new choir practice room
New Library
New 2D and 3D art rooms
New “Maker Space” room
New secure entryway into HS
Remodel north-south hallway corridors (new floors, lights, lockers)
We also have a few items that we will put out as alternate bids.  Here are the major pieces:
New parking lot to the west of State St across from the HS
East-West hallway corridor renovations

Please note that while there may be some demolition this summer of 2016, nothing will be finished this summer.  So no new football stadium or concert hall, etc until 2017.
We know that you join us in remaining excited about the future of this construction and we appreciate your patience as we try to coordinate the largest construction project in the history of the school district.
Please feel free to share this information, and do not hesitate to contact me should you have further questions.¬† Thank you–Scott Kuffel, Superintendent