School board greenlights Bottenfield renovation

School board greenlights Bottenfield renovation

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school board unanimously approved a general contractor for its renovation of Bottenfield Elementary School this summer, as well as contracts for a variety of other work to be done at the school.

The board met Monday.

The school board approved a $6.3 million contract with Broeren-Russo for the school's renovation.

That number includes several alternates, which are adding a west parking lot for $74,000, netbook charging circuits for $9,000, a $4,000 projection screen in the school's cafeteria, resurfacing the school's east parking lot for $32,000 and mulching for $2,200.

The renovation is being paid for using money from the school facilities sales tax. Bottenfield students will attend the former Carrie Busey Elementary on Kirby Avenue next year as the building is renovated.

The board also approved contracts with:

— Corson Music, for the school's cafeteria and music room sound systems for about $15,600.

— Alpha Controls, for the school's alarm and access control systems for about $48,000.

— Midwest Engineering and Testing, for both inspecting the building after it's renovated but before the school district is granted occupancy, which will cost $26,500; and for material testing for about $13,300.

— Champaign Telephone Co., to install cabling for the school's intercom, public address and phone system for about $137,000.

The total expense for that work the board approved is about $240,500. The school district had budgeted almost $270,000 for the work.

School board President Laurie Bonnett voted to approve the district's contract with Champaign Telephone Co. but said she would like to see such work bid in the future. Current law doesn't require the school district to bid out such work.

"I'm going to vote for this, but I would like to have a policy come forth that allows us to open it up for conversation for other people to bid," Bonnett said.

The board also discussed how it works with a firm called Engaging Solution to help it hire more subcontractor businesses owned by females and minorities.

Broeren-Russo plans to meet the school district's goal of doing 3 to 10 percent of Bottenfield's renovation by hiring business owned by females. However, it won't make the district's goal of doing 5 to 10 percent of the job using businesses owned by minorities, Vespa said.

Broeren-Russo contacted two minority-owned businesses to possibly work on the renovation, said Arlene Vespa, the district's capital projects supervisor, but one declined to bid, and the other submitted an incomplete bid.

Superintendent Judy Wiegand said she and school attorney Tommy Lockman are working on creating an actual policy for working with businesses owned by females and minorities, and expects to present it to the board later this summer.

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