109 Air Conditioning Project Progresses

Board also hears reports on curriculum and school improvement as well as getting an update on superintendent search.

Air conditioning for the schools was an intense topic at Monday’s Board of Education meeting and those who waited until the end learned the project may become reality.

The District recently sent out a request for proposal for companies which could meet the schools’ cooling needs and hopes to have more information in the next few months. It will be a thorough search.


“If we’re lucky it will cost $7 million,” Board member Nick Begley said. “If we’re not lucky it could cost a lot more. That’s why we have to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed.”

During her report to start the meeting, Superintendent Renee Goier told people at the meeting everything which would be done to ease the situation for students and teachers on an interim basis was being done.

“All it takes is one hot open house,” one parent said aloud.

Board President Ellen London put things in perspective. “We’re going to make it work as best we can,” he said.

Before Begley gave his report at the end of the meeting, parent Marla Dobryn made an impassioned plea for air conditioning in individual classes. Her daughter has severe allergies which are exacerbated by extreme heat.

She talked about being denied special accommodations for her daughter despite the recommendation of two physicians including one recommended by a school official. “They told me if I took legal action they would put her in Caruso,” she said. “Why should my 9-year-old be there (at a middle school)?” Dobryn left before Begley gave his report.

In other action, Communications Director Cathy Kedjidjian told the Board the progress of establishing groups for public input into the search to replace Goier, .

There will be daytime and evening meetings of varying sizes. Whether interviews will be conducted solely by Board members or will include members of the public has not been determined. “We’re still looking at that,” Kedjidjian said.

In further action, Goier introduced new teachers and staff members in the district, school officials gave reports on curriculum development and steps being taken to improve the schools, a state requirement.

Patch will have stories later this week on the details of all three topics.

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RB September 14, 2012 at 08:39 PM
It actually is a serious problem. Our tax dollars come in and then get prioritized by multiple districts, each with their own goals. The Village spends $millions on an unneeded underpass, the library - $millions to remodel, the park district $millions to rebuild Woodland park. Yet, from these comments we have a critical need for AC in our schools....and no money. My point is that all these jurisdictions are not prioritizing the use of our tax money. Which is needed worse? The school AC or that underpass? We got the underpass. The Village had control over that not the AC. Combining taxing bodies so we can prioritize and maximize the tax revenue needs to happen. Quickly.
D'skidoc September 14, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Each taxing district (from sewer to fire to school and on and on )has an elected board (or one appointed by elected officials) which is responsible for a particular area and responsive to the electorate. If you lump them all together you have representation by a very few and much less oversight of each individually. I see the point, just disagree to a degree.
PJL September 14, 2012 at 09:15 PM
The problem with the alergies is not the need for a/c, it is the need for clean air. How about not air conditioning the school, instead provide ventilation that pulls the outside air into the classroom through hepa filters. MUCH lower cost and the alergy problem is solved.
Wendy Apple September 14, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Not sure what the outdoor temperature is today, but my kids said their rooms were "horrible" today... It's truly like getting in your car sitting in the sun after running errands before turning the air on. No ventilation = very, very hot temperatures. I agree with another post though that this above all else is about cleaning the air. The air quality is terrible in our schools due to the preponderance of poorly ventilated areas, and the EPA and others say that cooling the air is the number one way to improve the air quality. So the library (I don't get it either) and other priorities aside, which come from other budgets in the current village structure, this is a health and safety issue -- yes a comfort issue too as learning environments need to be comfortable for optimal academic productivity -- but it's the health and safety danger that is so alarming, and it's getting more and more attention because the temperatures are increasing year over year (easy to confirm on a weather site), and people are getting sicker and sicker. Time to remediate the problem and do it in the most cost-effective way possible. These are not cadillac buildings and there are plenty of reasonably priced solutions, as evidenced by Lincolnshire and Evanston public schools' recent AC upgrades, etc., which hopefully the BOE will be able to learn from in continuing the process...
Tom December 03, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Everyone who has trouble with my child having air conditioning, please turn off the AC at your office. Never have it on. Work in some rooms where you can't even open a window. If it's too hot, have the company Moms bring popsicles and bottled water (at your expense) and rotate between sitting and working in your lobby (with AC) and your room. Oh, tell your boss to put out an email that it's ok to come to work with one of the little water spray bottles with the cute little fans. Turn off the AC and circulation in the disctrict offices too. By the way, parents from Walden have been offering for 4YRS to GIVE the school a system. One parent offered set up the bids. How much does FREE raise your taxes? How do you prioritize FREE? To paraphrase, we wanted to ask not what our school district could do for us. But, could we do this for our school district? The high school now has free astroturf. Why can't Walden have free ac?


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