News - Kane County

St. Charles School District 303 to add air-conditioning to cafeterias, community rooms and gymnasiums

Project expected to be completed by next summer

An equity audit of the St. Charles School District has begun. In December, board members unanimously voted to hire Chicago-based nonprofit group Consortium for Educational Change at a cost of $44,850. Staff had recommended hiring the company to do the equity audit.

The St. Charles District 303 School Board wants to make sure the district’s buildings are usable year-round, including in a heat wave.

District administrators have recommended that air-conditioning be added to cafeterias, community rooms and gymnasiums.

Wold Architects has estimated the project will cost about $5.2 million.

At the school board meeting June 13, board members unanimously approved an administration recommendation to have Wold Architects begin working on the schematic design phase of the project. The project is expected to be bid out in the fall, with project completion set for next summer.

“The goal for substantial completion for all associated HVAC improvements is early August of 2023,” Dan Kritta, a partner with Wold Architects, said in a letter to district officials.

Board members also authorized the administration to pre-purchase the HVAC equipment because of increased lead times and supply chain concerns.

“Right now the lead times are between 42 and 52 weeks for some of that equipment,” John Baird, who recently stepped down from his position as the district’s assistant superintendent of operations, had told board members during the school board’s Business Services Committee meeting May 26.

Improvements will include replacement of HVAC equipment and making roof and structural modifications.

“Some spaces at the secondary school facilities currently have cooling capabilities and improvements are not required at these locations,” Kritta said.

The Sports Center (field house) at St. Charles East High School is not part of the project.

“If the district is interested in pursuing this objective, we will adjust the budget and proposal to add the required scope of improvements,” Kritta said.