GLEN ELLYN – The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education met Aug. 10 to approve the 2015-16 budget, get an update on the Facilities Community Task Force and discuss a revised bid award for the Churchill Elementary School addition.
1. Budget approval
The board held a public hearing and approved the 2015-16 school budget.
The budget has about a $2 million deficit, the result of ongoing construction totaling $4.9 million for capital projects that include completion of building additions at Franklin, Forest Glen and Churchill elementary schools, as well as library and media center renovations at Lincoln Elementary School.
The board approved the budget by a 4-2 vote. Board members Joe Bochenski, Drew Ellis, Erica Nelson and Patrick Escalante voted to approve the budget while board members Stephanie Clark and Kurt Buchholz voted against it.
Clark and Buchholz were concerned about the budget deficit and Buchholz wondered how the board could work to decrease the budget and lessen the impact on taxes. Buchholz said he had talked to taxpayers who are “taxed out.”
“I think we need to have some real conversation about reducing the budget,” he said.
Both Clark and Buchholz also inquired about having more transparency when it comes to hiring and salaries of staff members at District 41. Clark said she would like to see salaries broken down by position to offer a clearer perspective on the budget being used for salaries.
“It’s concerning to me that we keep finding funds to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on positions,” Clark said.
She also wants to understand more about how the salaries are determined.
Buchholz agreed and said that information must be provided to the board in order to help the board determine if it would like to move forward with the budget.
2. Task force update
The first Facilities Task Force meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Central Services Office, 793 N. Main St.
Twenty-six members of the community are expected to join the task force. The members will be able to review historical facilities documents while evaluating the opportunities and challenges of facilities plans.
Considerations of the task force include creating space to support full-day kindergarten, removing of portables at Hadley Junior High School, relieving overcrowding at elementary schools and addressing other space needs at all five district schools.
3. Revision to Churchill addition
The board approved a revision to the bid for an addition at Churchill Elementary School. The district will move forward with the previous low bidder, Bisbing Construction of New Lenox. The project will cost $306,454, which is an increase of $17,406 from the previous bid.
The original bidder for the project, American Grading of Schaumburg, was unable to execute its contract without resolving an uncertainty regarding its bid, according to board documents. Because of the interpreted bid error, American Grading was released from the contract.
All remaining work at Churchill Elementary School is expected to be completed by June 2016.