By Steve Robinson | March 12, 2019 - 10:39 pm
Posted in Category: The Normalite, Unit 5

NORMAL – The improving weather temperatures apparently aren’t the only indication spring is close at hand. Members of Normal-based Unit 5 School Board voted unanimously to approve bids on six construction projects at their regularly-scheduled meeting at district headquarters March 13.

Life-Safety matters were addressed when Board members awarded a tennis court resurfacing project at Normal Community High School was awarded to Bloomington-based McLean County Asphalt Co., Inc. which submitted the only bid for the project. The company submitted a bid of $293,254 for the project. In previous sessions, Board members had been shown photos of cracked and crevassed concrete at those courts.

A reroofing and wall repair project to the athletic buildings at Normal Community West High School was awarded to Springfield-based Henson-Robinson Co. for the lowest of five bids submitted for the project, $153,370.

A partial reroof project at Parkside Junior High School was awarded to Mt. Zion, Ill.-based Top Quality Roofing for the lowest of three bids submitted for the project, $545,400. Adelman verified Top Quality Roofing has done previous work for the district in the past.

A reroofing project at Colene Hoose Elementary School on the section of the building constructed in 1968 was awarded to Henson-Robinson Co. for $194,532, the lowest bid among five companies which submitted bids.

A reroofing project at Fox Creek Elementary School was awarded to Henson-Robinson Co. for their bid of $433,488. Henson Robinson’s bid was the lowest of seven companies which submitted bids.

The bid for an electrical subcontracting project at Northpoint Elementary School was awarded to Normal-based Wilcox Electrical And Services. The company submitted a bid of $53,250 and that bid was the lowest among five companies which submitted bids for the project.

Joe Adelman, operations director for the district, told Board members all of these projects are paid for using bonds the district has sold and were budgeted for. With regard to the Hoose reroofing project, he said this last phase will help make sure it would be good for at least 30 years.

With regard to the NCHS Tennis Court project, Board Member Dr. Kelly Pyle asked Adelman how long the court’s surface, which had not been treated for a number of years, will last once the repair is completed. Adelman said after the repair is completed, a maintenance checkup will be performed on the court every three years.

Adelman said all projects would begin right after school ends for the year and he anticipates completion by sometime this fall. As part of the meeting’s omnibus agenda, with numerous items being handled with one Board vote, Board members unanimously approved all bids submitted for boilers for Kingsley Junior High School the district received March 7 due to an error in bidding documents.

Last Day Of School Announced: In comments to the meeting, Dr. Mark Daniel, district superintendent, told the meeting, “I want to thank everyone for their support during this unusual winter we’ve had. Our amazing staff has gone out of its way to ensure the schools were ready for everyone. We are especially grateful to the Town of Normal for loaning us salt to get through the winter.” Daniel explained that became necessary because the shipment the district was expecting got held up on a barge on the Illinois River which had frozen over.

Daniel said the district’s anticipated last day of school will be Friday, May 31, adding Board members will make that official at their next meeting in April.

Parkside Junior High School’s “Good News”: Darrin Cooper, principal at Parkside Junior High School, used a “good news report to recognize a group of students who have been selected to be part of the All-Illinois Junior Band. Cooper explained that all junior high band students in Illinois were encouraged to audition for this State Band, but only the top 84 musicians were chosen for this honor. Six of the 84 selected are attending PJHS, as well as one alternate. These PJHS band members also serve as the only representatives not just from Unit 5, but from all Twin City junior high schools selected for this honor.

“This is the highest accomplishment that any junior high band member can receive,” Cooper explained, adding much of the credit goes to the band’s director, Jennifer Greif Bolton. Illinois State University student teacher Chuck Willard was also acknowledged for his work with the students, as well.

The seven musicians (and the instruments they play) are: Ethan Snyder (trombone), Rolen Schlipmann (euphonium), Jonas Techmanski (percussion), Sam Albertson (percussion), Jenna Klokkenga (Clarinet), Ernst Nkangu (contra clarinet), with Jake Kellermann (trumpet) serving as the alternate.

New Food Service And Nutrition Director Introduced: The district has known for roughly over a year that Pat Powers, director of Food Service and Nutrition will be retiring next year after a 28 year career with the district. At this meeting, Board members were introduced to her successor. Daniel introduced Hudson resident Joanna Rewerts would succeed Powers. Although Rewerts will begin working for Unit 5 July 1, she will be learning the ropes from Powers until then. A registered dietician, Rewerts has worked as a nursing home administrator, as well.

“If you think about it, when we are feeding over 13,000 students a day, this is a major position,” Daniel said about the work Rewerts will be stepping into. “The time needed to understand the duties, responsibilities, the management processes that Joanna will be involved in means we want for there to be an absolutely seamless transition, and I think we’ll have that.” Rewerts said she is “excited for the opportunity to work with Pat over the next year.”

Infinite Campus Update: Board members were provided with updates concerning new information systems which are soon to be implemented by the district. The two new systems are known as Infinite Campus and Tyler iVisions. Infinite Campus would replace the current information system the district has used over the past decade, known as Skyward. Tyler iVisions relates to software for human resources and payroll functions for the district.

Michelle Lamboley, Unit 5’s director of director of special education gave a presentation concerning next steps in the implementation of these new systems.

Lamboley explained the district is putting some of its teachers in the role of trainers to help fellow employees with the training. She said those trainers would receive 300 hours of training to best do their jobs. That training will be a mix of in-person and using web-accessible programs. In February, she explained, district teachers received an overview of Infinite Campus. Another such overview was given to Parent-Teacher Organization leaders last month.

She added it’s hoped the portal for Infinite Campus will be available by spring break giving staff time to get used to working with in prior to using it next school year. District families will get their first look at the system in May so that they can review information relevant to them just prior to participating in registration in July.

A series of trainings for human resources, payroll, and related departments are scheduled to take place later this month and on varying dates throughout April.

Next Board Meeting April 10: Because the district’s spring break will start March 24, this is the only Board meeting scheduled for this month. The next scheduled Board meeting will be Wednesday, April 10 at district headquarters, beginning at 7p.m.

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