River Bend Schools Plan Busy Summer
It is hard to believe that school will be ending May 24th. With students heading home for the summer, each of the buildings will have some type of upgrade and or construction. We ask for patience and flexibility as access to the buildings may be limited due to asbestos removal and project work. Please call prior to coming to the buildings to check availability.
The River Bend Board of Education passed the approval of a three year bond fund cycle to continue work upgrading and or repairing facility needs. The funds spent are primarily from the health, life, safety fund and can only be used on approved health, life, safety projects. Funding is always a challenge in Illinois and selling health, life, safety bonds is a way to continue improving our facilities even though the state of Illinois is not properly funding our schools. The district will also be utilizing 1% funds to make several building and ground repairs and upgrades. The 1% funds also have restrictions on usage and can only be used for facility and grounds projects.
I would encourage you to reach out to our state legislators (Rep. Tony McCombie and Sen. Neal Anderson) the two of them can have a direct impact on funding schools and passing a budget. As I draft this letter the state of Illinois does not have an education budget for fiscal year 2017-18. If you recall, last year the state did not pass an education budget until late June. Schools were making plans to see how long the doors could remain open if a budget was not passed. It is not right to put children in this position again. At present River Bend Schools has not received three categorical payments totaling about $370,000. The categorical payments are budgeted revenue promised by the state. The loss of the revenue requires the district to replenish the 2016-17 revenue with 2017-18 funds. Spending next year’s funds to remain solvent is not the preferred plan of operating. Your support to get Gov. Rauner, and our elected officials to govern and pass a budget is critical.
The projects at Fulton Elementary School include removing and replacing the sidewalks around the building. The sidewalks have sunk below the curb an present a tripping hazard. The black topped areas around the school will also receive new seal coating. The technology space will be renovated to create a new STEM/Maker Space (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). With a wonderful gift from the FES PTO, the new space will be filled with $10,000 dollars’ worth of new learning equipment. Because of aging heating and cooling units 11 new cooling/heating units will be replaced. Fulton Elementary school will also have the gym painted.
The River Bend Middle School will update all the aging heating units and will add cooling. This will help us keep students in the schools during the hot weather patterns. The middle school is also renovating the technology space to make a STEM space. The middle school halls will be painted and the parking area will have seal coating applied to last year’s blacktopped areas.
Fulton High School will continue painting the halls throughout the entire building. Because of storm water from heavy rains does not properly drain, the parking area on the north side cafeteria lot will be removed and regraded so that water does not drain into the cafeteria and gym. The high school library will be renovated to create a project/collaboration learning space that will incorporate student work stations, additional technology spaces and a meeting room. The water closet style urinals will be replaced with modern equipment that will improve efficiency and the moisture content in the bathrooms. The old gym restrooms will have venting units installed for improved ventilation. Blinds and screens will be added to the third floor window to improve safety and cooling. Heating valves will be inserted throughout the boiler system to help control the flow of heat. The industrial technology space will have a large door added so that projects can easily be brought outside to expand the working space. A large storage unit will be added to the stage to meet storage safety guidelines. Carpeting will be added to two rooms as the district seeks to continue making the spaces look their best. The football field and teacher parking lot will receive a much needed seal coating application. The high school bus barn doors will also receive a new coating of paint.
We are very excited about all the construction and remolding projects as we seek to improve our facilities. Each school also looks forward to sharing the completed projects when all the work is finished.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer,