Oak Ridge School’s Permanent Home- Courier News

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Written by Suzanne Baker, The Courier News. August 7, 2014


Oak Ridge School to show off permanent home

CARPENTERSVILLE — Two months after a demolition crew tore apart the mobile classrooms that once housed Community Unit School District 300’s alternative school, district officials will proudly show off the permanent home for Oak Ridge School.

A community ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house is planned from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday at Oak Ridge School, 300 Cleveland Ave.

The ceremony ends a process that started more tha

n a year ago when District 300 put the 7.2-acre site of Oak Ridge School on Lake Marian Road up for sale. The property eventually was sold for $750,000 to the Children’s Home and Aid, which is building a preschool on the site.

District officials were eager to move the more than 70 students from sixth through 12th grade from the cramped mobile classrooms. Although the mobile classrooms were intended to last 10 years, the district has used them for 17 years.

Oak Ridge serves students whose special education needs cannot be met at their home schools. Students who commit an expellable offense also can be referred or transferred to the school’s Safe Schools program.

Moving Oak Ridge to its new home adjacent to Carpentersville Middle School will allow the district to reach more students. Because of size limitations, the mobile classrooms could serve a maximum of 78 students. The new space will allow up to 130 students.

At the same time the district was looking for new space for Oak Ridge, the District 300 leadership was eyeing places to house the central office staff under one roof.

In February, the School Board approved moving forward with plans to construct a new office building for administrators and move Oak Ridge School to 300 Cleveland Ave., where the district offices were located at that time.

Over spring break 2014, administrators moved into temporary office space at Hampshire High School, where they will stay until the building just south of Jacobs High School in Algonquin is finished sometime in December.

Work began immediately tearing apart the 300 Cleveland Ave. office space to turn it back into classrooms.

In addition to room for more students, the new school building gives students access to hot lunches, creates more space for group activities, and gives students the opportunity to participate in active physical education daily.

The results of those efforts can be seen during the open house planned on Monday.

United Way of Elgin – Courier News


Written by Courier News Staff, The Courier News. July 25, 2014.


United Way of Elgin Raises $1,017,000 in 2013-2014

With a mission to improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world and goals to improve education, financial stability and promote healthy lives, the United Way continues to make a growing impact on the Elgin community.

At the close of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, United Way of Elgin reported $1,017,000 in revenue.

That revenue includes money raised from the community campaign, grants, and other special events. Led by Chair Jennifer Rakow, IHC Construction Companies and Honorary Chair Jack Shales, Shales McNutt, the campaign saw both increased participation and increased giving at several top supporters.

Elgin Community College, School District U-46/Elgin Teachers Association, and Lundstrom Insurance all had double-digit participation increases.

Judson University had the highest overall participation increase, and for the second year in a row, Lamp Inc. achieved 100% participation from employees.

Many people also responded to the Jack Shales 60 for 60 Challenge, issued in honor of Jack’s 60th Anniversary with United Way. We easily hit Jack’s goal of $60,000 new dollars thanks to outstanding support from people like the employees of the City of Elgin, who increased giving by over $5,000 this year, and the Grand Victoria Foundation’s generous $25,000 gift.

United Way of Elgin also received multiple grants during the year for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, which sends free books to children from birth to five.

The Andrew & Alice Fischer Charitable Trust, The EFS Foundation, the Hoffer Foundation, and the City of Elgin Riverboat Fund all helped the program reach over 4,000 kids this past year.

Special events, like the annual Tee It Up! Golf Outing helped raise additional dollars specifically for United Way initiatives like the Dolly Parton Imagination Library or for the Community Fund, which provides funding to local social service programs.

A gift to United Way is one of the most effective ways to help so many people in the community who need help.

If you are interested in learning more about the United Way of Elgin or how you can contribute to support your community, please visit our website atwww.uwelgin.org/give or call Elissa Kojzarek at 847-741-2259.

Work on District 300 Projects – Courier News

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Written by Suzanne Baker. The Courier News. July 17, 2014.


New District 300 Office Taking Shape

ALGONQUIN — While the rain in recent weeks set back school parking lot repairs in Community Unit School District 300, work on various projects throughout the district should be finished by the deadline, a school official is saying.

Assistant Superintendent of Operations Chuck Bumbales gave a brief update this week on the progress of the summer construction projects underway throughout the district.

The most noticeable change is at the site of the new administration center. What just weeks ago looked like a slab of concrete on vacant lot the corner of Golden Eagle and Harnish drives in Algonquin, now is starting to take shape as a building.

Bumbales said the steel was delivered and the basic frame for the structure took two days to erect. As of Monday, the roof was installed as welding crews moved onto the decking for the floors. He said the work should be completed by the end of the week so the concrete for the floor can be poured early next week.

Bumbales estimated the building will be fully enclosed within the next month and a half. He said after the concrete is poured on the second floor, the crew will move onto wrapping the steel around the building and then install the outer walls. The roofing would start after that, he said.

“Probably within a month and a half we should be water-tight in the building and then we should be moving quickly on the inside,” he said.

Work is projected to be completed around winter break.

With just weeks left before the Aug. 4 date to turn the building over to teachers, Bumbales said work on Oak Ridge School also continues to run on schedule.

He said work is continuing on the electrical, heating and air conditioning, sprinkler heads and system controls.

All the work in the ceiling passed inspection with the Regional Office of Education last week giving the green light for the construction crew to begin work on the drop ceiling, he said. With work on the tiling the floor already started, the next phase will be applying a final coat of paint and installing the doors and signage before cleaning up the facility.

With the start of the school year less than a month away, district officials expect air conditioning work and parking lot repairs to be done well before students arrive.

Bumbales said the air conditioning replacement at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville, Sleepy Hollow Elementary in Sleepy Hollow, Neubert Elementary in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills Elementary in Lake in the Hills is on track to be finished before opening day of school Aug. 13.

While the district is on track to finish parking lot repairs before the start of the school year, Bumbales admitted a few locations will come down to the wire, particularly if the area is hit by frequent rain in the upcoming weeks. “We are on schedule, but it has been, well not even a little, a lot challenging,” Bumbales said.

The good news is that work is finished at Golfview Elementary, Lakewood Elementary, Perry Elementary and Dundee-Crown High School, all in Carpentersville; as well as Westfield School and Jacobs High School, both in Algonquin.

He said progress is being made at Parkview Elementary and the deLacy Family Education Center in Carpentersville; Lake in the Hills Elementary and Lincoln Prairie Elementary in Lake in the Hills; Sleep Hollow Elementary; Hampshire Elementary and Middle Schools in Hampshire; and Algonquin Lakes Elementary in Algonquin.

Construction is expected to start late this week to early next week on Neubert Elementary and Eastview Elementary in Algonquin; Dundee Highlands Elementary in West Dundee and Liberty Elementary in Carpentersville, according to Bumbales.

Renovations for Anderson Animal Shelter- Courier News

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Written by Courier News Staff, The Courier News. July 16, 2014


Major Renovations Planned for Anderson Animal Shelter

Anderson Animal Shelter is getting a makeover and is looking for foster volunteers to care for the animals during the renovation.

A donation — from Marco and Patricia Muscarello, on behalf of the Ivar and Ruth Anderson Animal Anti-Cruelty Foundation — will update the forty-year-old building, 1000 South LaFox, South Elgin. Beginning Sept. 1, new caging will be installed throughout the dog and cat adoption areas and the reception and non-public areas of the shelter will receive a face-lift.

“The Anderson Animal Shelter building is outdated, said Executive Director Beth Drake. “Our plumbing was installed when the shelter was built 40 years ago and has reached the end of its life expectancy. Our parking lot is too small to accommodate all our shelter visitors. Most importantly, our animal caging is outdated.”

Currently, the cats are housed in small, stainless steel cages and dogs are housed in chain link kennels.

“This type of caging is not ideal for shelter animals,” said Drake. “It increases their stress and leads to emotional and physical distress. The shelter redesign will incorporate creative housing solutions designed to reduce animal stress. Our adoptable cats will be housed with other cats in cat colonies, or individually in large ‘kitty condos’ with perching and sleeping ledges, allowing them to feel more at home. Adoptable dogs will be housed in their own small rooms, rather than in kennels.”

Under Drake’s leadership, shelter staff and volunteers have begun to implement activities to increase the adoptability of shelter animals in advance of the shelter redesign. Dog playgroups are now a daily occurrence. Dogs that “play well with others” are allowed to interact with one another off leash in an outdoor fenced area with special supervision.

“One of the most exciting improvements I’ve witnessed is dog playgroups, said Josephine Bachelder one of the Shelter’s current volunteers. “Socialization is vital to the emotional health of dogs and you can really see it in the shelter dogs during and after they’ve been in a playgroup. They’re so much more relaxed — it obviously has a positive effect on their overall well-being.”

“A remodeling project of this magnitude is a momentous event in the life of the shelter,” said Cindy Green, longtime member of the Board of Directors. “The upcoming changes will not only benefit the animals in our care, but also the staff and the community as a whole. In my almost seventeen years as a Board Member, I can’t remember feeling such unified excitement.”

The shelter plans to shut down for the month of September for the construction and renovations. Some of the shelter animals will be moved to a satellite adoption location at an undetermined location, where adoptions will continue while the shelter is closed. Anderson staff is currently looking for foster volunteers willing to care for an adult dog or cat or a litter of puppies or kittens for the transition period.

“We’re looking for as many as 100 foster homes willing to bring a shelter pet into their home for a period of one to two months while the shelter is under construction,” said Jon Koffenberger, the Shelter’s Animal Care Manager. “You don’t need to be an experienced foster volunteer, but we do ask that you have some pet experience. Many of the animals here at Anderson have been at the shelter for a long time. They’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a family and will need some help readjusting to that type of life,” he said. “We’ll transition our residents provide their food and any veterinary care they need. We’ll also be there to assist if fosters have behavior concerns about their foster pets. All we ask is that you love them and care for them as if they were your own until it’s time for them to come back to the shelter.”

Should foster volunteers wish to adopt their foster pet, they will be given first priority,” said Drake. “The transition to a shelter environment can be very stressful for dogs and cats,” she added. “Oftentimes, it can be very helpful to engage foster homes and get the animals out of our facility so that they can learn some basic manners, work on potty training and other kinds of activities. Regardless of how wonderful a shelter is, it is an inherently stressful place to be.”

For information about the foster program visit www.andersonanimalshelter.org or call 847-697-2880 x23 or email jkoffenberger@andersonanimalshelter.org.

District 12 Picks Construction Management Firm- Northwest Herald

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Written by Emily Coleman, The Northwest Herald. July 15, 2014


District 12 Picks Construction Management Firm to Oversee Improvements

JOHNSBURG – An Elgin-based construction management firm will oversee the referendum-funded overhaul of District 12 facilities.

The School District 12 Board unanimously picked Lamp Incorporated at its meeting Tuesday evening to serve as the construction management firm for the planned improvements and maintenance at the district’s schools.

The work also will include the closure of James C. Bush Elementary and the upgrading of Johnsburg Junior High School campus to accommodate those students.

The approval doesn’t come with a dollar amount yet, Superintendent Dan Johnson said. That number will be negotiated once the architecture firms finalize their plans as soon as this fall.

The estimated $41 million worth of improvements will be paid for using voter-approved bonds. The exact amount the district can take out will be based on a cap that ties how much districts can borrow to property values.

The School Operations Committee recommended Lamp Incorporated to the board after 45-minute interviews with three finalist firms, board Vice President Scott Rowe said.

Rowe was impressed by the firm’s “extensive experience” in northeastern Illinois, its experience with schools and its emphasis on site control and safety – an important point, Johnson added, due to the public nature of the buildings, which are accessed all the time by different groups.

Lamp Incorporated worked on the addition and renovation at Algonquin Middle School, the District 158 expansion to house full-day kindergarten, the Jacobs High School addition and renovation and the Huntley High School athletic improvements, according to its website.

It also conducted District 12’s facilities assessment three years ago, Johnson said.

Ian Lamp, the firm’s vice president of marketing and sales, also highlighted the way the firm ends the project: by digitally providing the district with all the bids, qualification reports, equipment manuals and training videos so they are completely accessible and usable after the project is done.

“I think we [the School Operations Committee] were comfortable that we would get what we expect,” Rowe said, adding that he feels “not the least bit tentative” about the pick.

2014 Elgin 4th of July Parade

Watch the 2014 Elgin 4th of July Parade. Enjoy the full parade or view Lamp Inc. at the 25.40 minute mark.

Harvard High School Progress- Northwest Herald

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Written by Shawn Shinneman, The Northwest Herald. July 10, 2014


Harvard High School in second phase of face-lift

HARVARD – It’s been more than 20 years since Harvard High School received substantial work and nearly a century since it was built. So, yes, District 50 officials are excited to be closing in on the second phase of a major sprucing up of the place.”It’s very much needed – the original part of the building was constructed in 1921, and then it had additions in 1955 and 1993,” said Steve Miller, the district’s director of facilities. “So yeah, the older section of the building really did need some updating.”

Update it, they have. Contractors started last year building 10 new classrooms, which opened by Christmas break. They did the exterior of the kitchen last summer, and completed the interior throughout the school year. Equipment was installed in the spring.”That was a new addition to the building,” Miller said. “It’s completed and ready to go when the kids come back in September.” The old kitchen is being demolished and rebuilt as cafeteria space, expanding seating and adding a “senior cafe” that will incorporate “restaurant-style” seating, Miller said.
Crews also will build a fitness center with cardio equipment and an area for yoga, and redo the administrative area. The high school also will get installed a secure entrance, along with four other schools in the district this summer.

In the new entrance, a first set of doors will open into a small atrium where guests can speak with school staff through a video screen before being buzzed through a second set of locked doors. The district’s fifth school, Richard D. Crosby Elementary, already has a secure entrance. Additionally, both the high school and Jefferson School are getting new HVAC systems. The high school’s upgrades have been a long time coming. The school was the district’s only building not to feel relief from a $22 million referendum in 2008, which allowed the district to build Crosby school and drop a grade level at the others to create space. But that referendum was leveraged for a $13.8 million grant, which officials are using to complete the high school renovations.
So far, the completed projects have gone over well with students, Miller said. “They’ve been very good,” he said. “The modern rooms are very nice.”

D300 Parking Lots Improvements- Courier News

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Written by Suzanne Baker, The Courier News. June 30, 2014


19 School Parking Lots Getting a Facelift

The parking lots of 19 schools in Community Consolidated School District 300 are getting a much-needed makeover this summer.

District 300 Assistant Superintendent of Operations Chuck Bumbales said this past winter was particularly harsh on school parking lots throughout the district. He said work already has begun repairing the lots filled with potholes.

The $3.3 million project to fix the holes ranges anywhere from completely tearing out all asphalt surfaces at one school to paving small areas at other schools.

Among the lots getting work done are:

  • Hampshire Middle School
  • Algonquin Lakes
  • deLacey Family Education Center in Carpentersville
  • Dundee Highlands Elementary in West Dundee
  • Eastview Elementary in Algonquin
  • Hampshire Elementary in Hampshire
  • Hampshire Middle in Hampshire
  • Lake in the Hills in Lake in the Hills
  • Liberty in Carpentersville
  • Lincoln Prairie Elementary in Lake in the Hills
  • Perry Elementary in Carpentersville
  • Sleepy Hollow Elementary in Sleepy Hollow
  • Golfview Elementary in Carpentersville
  • Neubert Elementary in Algonquin
  • Parkview Elementary in Carpentersville
  • Lakewood Elementary in Carpentersville
  • Algonquin Middle in Algonquin
  • Westfield Community School in Algonquin — (track original to the building)
  • Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville
  • Jacobs High School in Algonquin.

In addition to parking lots, Golden Eagle Drive adjacent to Jacobs High School will get facelift to repair the numerous potholes.

While the top layer of asphalt was ground away in the parking lot at Parkview Elementary School in Carpentersville, the community still was able to use the lot for public parking at the Rock the Fox Music Festival June 27-29 in town. Drivers did have to navigate the lighted traffic sawhorses marking the manholes that jutted up from the scraped surface.

The paving work was bid in early March, and the School Boards approved the bids from the lowest contractors in April.

Contracts went to Abbey Paving Co. for $1.8 million, Schroeder Asphalt Services for $371,685, Arrow Road Construction for $647,095 and Accu-Paving for $240,065. The total amount for all contracts, including oversight services from Lamp Inc. and allowances for unforeseen conditions, was $3.3 million.

Money for the work will be paid out of District 300’s Capital Projects Fund.

The budget established for this work was $3,516,281.

East Dundee’s New Fire Station Response Time- Post-Tribune

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Written by Erin Sauder, The Sun-Times Media. June 13, 2014


East Dundee’s new fire station location improves response time

EAST DUNDEE — A year after construction began on East Dundee’s new fire station, officials moved this past week into their new digs along Route 25.

“It’s been great,” said Fire Chief Steve Schmitendorf. “And the biggest thing we’ve noticed — which is what we thought would happen — is that our response time is much better out of this building. Especially anything in the eastern end of our district. Obviously, going back by the old station will take a little longer, but it is downhill and we don’t navigate those narrow streets anymore.”

A $5.5 million referendum approved by taxpayers in November 2012 made possible the new fire station, located near Routes 25 and 72. Fire officials said the area is more centrally located to serve their entire district, which extends as far east as Higgins Road and Interstate 90. The district serves the villages of East Dundee, South Barrington and Barrington Hills, and unincorporated Kane and Cook counties.

The move also means more room for the East Dundee Police Department, which will expand into the fire department’s old building on Third Street.

Fire officials were able to move into the new building Monday.

Schmitendorf said that for the most part, the project stayed on its projected timeline.

“We were maybe two weeks behind what we were hoping for, and that was just because of that tough winter,” he said. “Obviously, we still have some odds and ends to work on; but we can function out here now.”

The land the new fire station is built on is owned by the village. Both fire and village officials agreed to swap the land for the current fire department building. To make the exchange more equitable, since the village was receiving three acres of land with a complete building, East Dundee officials said they would donate $100,000 per year to the East Dundee Fire Protection District — a separate taxing body — for the 20-year life of the loan to build the station to offset payment of the bonds.

A community open house is planned for the fall, to coincide with Fire Prevention Week.

“We’re waiting because we want to do things in the building to spruce it up,” Schmitendorf said.

Village President Lael Miller visited the facility Friday.

“It’s incredible,” he said. “It’s a beautiful building, and I’m sure those guys will be happy in it for the next 50 to 75 years. It’s a huge asset to all the residents of East Dundee and our entire fire service district.”

As for the construction of the village hall and police station, Miller said those projects are going through the final design phase.

“We’re anticipating sometime at the end of summer or early fall we’ll start construction on the police station portion,” he said. “Last I heard, the tentative completion schedule on that is May of next year.”

Miller said work will also begin on the village hall “somewhere in parallel with that.”

ECC Life Sciences Building achieves LEED Silver Certification.

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Lamp Incorporated is honored to announce that the Health and Life Sciences Building at Elgin Community College has achieved LEED Silver Certification! Congratulations to all who worked hard to accomplish this success.  Click here to read the full report.