Bids to be sought for remaining work on PBL school construction/renovation project

PAXTON — As construction continues on a 63,400-square-foot addition to Clara Peterson Elementary School and the renovation of the existing school building, contractors are being sought to finish up some of the remaining work.

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board is expected Wednesday night to approve soliciting bids from contractors for asbestos removal, the installation of technology and the purchase of playground equipment and furniture at the Paxton elementary school.

The board will also hear an update on the progress of the project from representatives of Gilbane, the school district’s Chicago-based construction-management firm.

The new school addition and renovations to the existing building are expected to be completed before the start of next school year, allowing PBL Eastlawn School’s third- through fifth-graders to move in to the new space. The district is tentatively planning to tear down Eastlawn, the district’s oldest school building, following the move.

Other business
Also on the agenda for Wednesday’s board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the board room at the unit office in Paxton:

➜ The board will hold a public hearing regarding a final version of the district’s 2018 tax levy and then vote to approve the levy. A proposed version of the levy presented to the board in November tentatively showed an estimated $10.63 million to be collected from property owners in the district next summer, up from $10.29 million last summer — a difference of $348,352. The amount to be levied included an estimated $2.17 million in bonds. The estimated tax rate was 6.147 percent — up from 6.199 percent in 2017 but still lower than the 2016 rate of 6.24 percent.

➜ The board will vote on whether to accept a bid for the providing of diesel fuel to the district. Last month, bids for a 12-month contract and a 24-month contract were sought in conjunction with the Mahomet-Seymour school district. A bid opening was held Dec. 6.

➜ The board will discuss and possibly approve a proposed agreement with Novel Energy Solutions to allow the company to install solar panels on the district’s schools.

➜ The board will review proposed calendars for the school district for the 2019-20 school year. Two possible calendars were presented to the board last month, with both showing the first day of school as Sept. 3. Superintendent Cliff McClure said the later start to the school year than normal was due to the amount of work that remains to be done next summer on the renovation of Clara Peterson Elementary School.

➜ The board will receive notification of the administrator and superintendent evaluation period.

➜ The board will discuss and possibly approve the soliciting of bids for student transportation services for the next three school years.

➜ The board will discuss and possibly approve the creation of an Art IV course at PBL High School for the 2019-20 school year.

➜ The board will discuss and possibly approve a resolution allowing for online bill payments.

➜ Paxton Fire Chief Denny Kingren will discuss a proposal to place a 150-foot flagpole on school district property.

➜ The board will meet in closed session to discuss specific employees and to conduct its semi-annual review of minutes of closed sessions, with the discussion also involving the destruction of audio recordings of closed sessions that occurred at least 18 months ago. Action could be taken after the meeting is re-opened to the public.

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