Grants could cover much of Westville High renovations

WESTVILLE — School officials said Wednesday that a pair of state grants would fund about 40 percent of the renovations that will take place at Westville High School this summer.

Westville School Superintendent Jim Owens said the district was already awarded a $250,000 state grant to improve energy efficiency in the district, and school officials are also applying for a $50,000 school maintenance grant for the renovation project, which Owens said must be matched with district dollars but are otherwise almost guaranteed.

School officials plan to renovate the HVAC system in the 1982 addition on the north side of Westville High, replace some single-pane windows in that part of the school with more energy-efficient double-pane ones, and add a vestibule near the entrance to reduce heat loss.

On Wednesday, the Westville School Board voted to award a $665,900 bid for the project to McDowell Builders, Inc. of Sidell.

Seth Miller, the director of operations for the district, said the bid from McDowell Builders stood out from the other three bids the district received for the project, and that the company has done good work for the district in the past.

In related business, the board awarded a $35,300 bid to DEM Services of Addison for the removal of some asbestos around the 1964-era windows at Westville High that will be replaced. Miller said that the asbestos-abatement work would not be very intrusive, and that the company planned to remove the windows and the surrounding asbestos from the exterior of the building.

Board members voted to honorably dismiss one educational support staff member as part of a reduction in force for the upcoming school year. Owens said that the employee is a part-time aide who works with a student who may not return to the district next year.

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