Education, Local News

Two contracts approved for HVAC work at H-F

The District 233 school board approved two contracts with Precision Control Systems to upgrade sections of Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s heating and air conditioning systems.

Jim Patterson, director of operations, told the board at its Oct. 17 meeting that Precision crews will work on the E-Building system that utilizes 1960s mechanical HVAC equipment to control the temperature in the 22 classrooms. Work will commence shortly and continue through winter and spring. 

Lawrence Cook, chief school business official, informed the board: “While Precision has successfully maintained this equipment for over 30 years, it is well beyond its expected lifetime and the equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer with critical components no longer being manufactured.” 

The package includes a $1.13 million project to replace the E-Building Chiller Plant, and $513,610 for replacement of the dual duct box system that regulates air flow in E-Building. The costs are part of the H-F 2024 budget, Cook said, and noted that District 233 “has a long standing and excellent relationship with Precision Controls Systems.”

Several board members questioned why the district didn’t go out for bids on these projects. Cook explained that the district was not required to do the traditional bid process because District 233 is using a cooperative purchasing contract for HVAC equipment, installation and service allowed by the Illinois School Code, Cook said.

In other business, the board approved the $1,800 purchase of SuperEval software, an evaluation tool. The board will be using the software program will help the board conduct an objective and meaningful administrator evaluation of Superintendent Scott Wakeley. Member Pam Jackson, who learned of the product at an Illinois Association of School Boards meeting, suggested the board purchase the software that will help the board eliminate the manual process its been using.

Wakeley said he spoke with other school superintendents where SuperEval is used. “It’s really about quality feedback,” he said.

The board also instructed Cook to apply for a $50,000 School Maintenance Project Grant from the Illinois State Board of Education. If the grant is approved, Cook said the money will be allocated for roof replacement at G-Building. The project is slated for summer 2024 at an estimated cost as high as $925,000. The work was included in the 2024 budget and is part of H-F’s Long Range Facility Plan.

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