School News

More upgrades on tap in District 30


Construction will be aplenty next summer at the Forest Road School, as several projects to upgrade the 60-year-old building are in the works.

The District 30 Board of Education and members of the community got a first-hand look at just what needs to be done during the annual building tour on Dec. 14. Last May, voters approved spending $1.4 million from an existing capital reserve fund for various upgrades at the school.

The heating and ventilation units will be replaced in all the classrooms in the original section of the building and the 1956 addition. New ceiling tiles will be installed in the hallways and classrooms, along with energy-efficient lighting.

“Everything we do, we first sit down and say, ‘How can we make it more energy efficient,’” said Lisa Rutkoske, the assistant superintendent for business.

Rutkoske said the district is hoping to make similar upgrades to the heating and lighting systems at Clear Stream Avenue School, the district’s oldest building, in the summer of 2015. That would require approval from voters in May for further spending from the capital reserve fund.

That summer, district officials also would like to have the blacktop play areas repaved at both Clear Stream and Forest.

The Shaw Avenue School served as the finished product for much of this work. Over the summer, the heating and ventilation system was completely overhauled, and two years ago blacktop area was repaved. A few years back, the ceilings and lights were replaced there.

Few projects lie ahead for the district’s largest elementary school, as the only planned work at Shaw would be the replacement of original classroom doors. The cost would be about $212,000 to install 85 new doors.

Rutkoske pointed out that District 30 has invested a lot in its buildings since 2007, with new roofs, windows and exterior doors at all three schools.

Visitors got a look at the new sign above the entrance to the Forest Road School, and also learned about the need to replace the water filtration system because of high levels of iron.

“The buildings are in great shape physically and academically,” Board of Education President Carolyn Torres said. “We are making annual repairs throughout all three schools, and we will continue the trend to ensure that our children have a safe and pleasant school environment.”