Joliet D-86 receives draft report on school building needs

JOLIET – Joliet District 86 board members saw the first draft of reports analyzing the critical needs of facilities throughout the district.

The reports were presented at a committee meeting Wednesday on all 23 sites at the Joliet school district by companies STR Partners and EMG.

The reports are one piece of a process that will lead to a master plan regarding the facilities and will be finalized by the end of April, said Tamara Mitchell, assistant superintendent for business and financial services

“STR partners and EMG have been fantastic throughout this whole process. We are very pleased with the services we have received so far,” Mitchell said.

In December, the board approved an agreement with STR Partners for $154,000 – and a contingency allowance of $4,000 – to assess the conditions of buildings. Last year, board inspectors discussed the idea of having a districtwide facilities plan and Superintendent Theresa Rouse has said there was a need for a new one.

Alan Armbrust, STR Partners executive manager, came to the committee meeting to explain how the reports were developed. He noted the district is “very diverse in many respects,” including the types of buildings and their conditions.

“I’m really amazed by the breadth of styles, how old the buildings are, the conditions they’re in. You have virtually every situation we’ve ever seen. It’s good, it makes it interesting for us, but it also makes it a challenge,” Armbrust said.

Board inspector Deborah Ziech asked whether there any facility needs that needed to be addressed soon or in the summer. Armbrust said there wasn’t anything that would pose a problem next school year with the exception of mechanical, plumbing or grease trap-related issues.

Ziech also inquired about the money the district has to fund work needed for the buildings but board Vice President Jeffrey Pritz said that would be a “much bigger discussion.”

“We’ve have a lot of discussions about how we’re going to do this,” he said.