MHS heating system a concern for district

Chelsea Peck

Discussion focused around the $12.5 million  elementary school renovations and working cash bonds for future high school work at the District 709 school board meeting Nov. 16.

The district already selected an architectural firm, Morton-based Keach Architectural Design and  PSA-Dewberry of Peoria.

The letter of agreement was approved.

Superintendent Roger Kilpatrick said the district officials are in the process of gathering information such as cost and services available with the construction managers that were interviewed.

Kilpatrick said, “It’s a busy time and it’s a lot of interesting and exciting things.”

He said they hope to have more information by the Dec. 7 meeting.

Kilpatrick also discussed a resolution of intent to issue working cash bonds. He said the cash bonds would be used for facility purposes other than the elementary school renovations.

“One of the things we’ve identified that is a possibility that we may need to do with this money is to talk about need in our high school,” Kilpatrick said.

Asbestos has been removed from the ceilings and floors, but the heating system needs to be updated.

“It is 50-some years old and part of the major problem we have with that is the piping to all that is in tunnels underneath the school,” Kilpatrick explained. “Those tunnels have very restricted access and the pipes are wrapped in asbestos materials. That makes  it extremely difficult and extremely expensive for us anytime we have to make any repairs.”

Kilpatrick said they could consider replacing the heating system in the tunnels, or put the system in the ceiling.

The board will come back to these issues at the next meeting Dec. 7.