District 205’s building project moving forward

The Galesburg School District 205 continues to move forward towards breaking ground on building renovations this summer.

Board members at Monday night’s meeting approved a letter of intent with Russell Construction, who had managed the work of Churchill and Lombard’s renovations, to provide construction management during the series of construction projects.

District 205’s Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Jennifer Hamm, vouched for Russell Construction, saying they had always been helpful, even after the contractual obligations had expired.

“Whenever we have an issue with one of our buildings and pick up the phone, Russel Construction is there,” Hamm said. “So I would anticipate that we would have that same level of high-quality service with them and would recommend that the board approve this letter of intent to use their services moving forward.”

Superintendent Dr. John Asplund presented a list of committees to coordinate the logistics of the work.

Additionally, Dr. Asplund informed board members and those in attendance that the plan was to start work on Steele, King, and Lombard as early as this summer.

“There are fewer options at Steele so we thought that was a good place to start. It really isn’t a lot of debate about where things are going because there’s about one place a lot of this can go and then we’ll learn a little bit in the process. As we go to King and on to Lombard we know where we’re adding on, it’s just how we’re going to deal with the space.”

Asplund said he hoped that these committees would have representation from teachers and different extracurricular groups to help assist with the logistics.

He also said that some of these committees had to meet and get working quickly to make the summer timetable.

He added that these deadlines were artificial, but waiting would potentially impact the costs of work.

Speaking of costs, the board approved the issuing of around $40 million dollars in bonds to pay for the work, with $23-million of it was sold Monday.

The interest rate was projected to be 4.75 percent, but board members learned that it actually a lower rate of 4.34 percent with an average coupon rate of 5.285 percent.

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