BBCHS

BRADLEY — More pieces are moving into place toward improving air quality and fully air conditioning Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School.

The BBCHS District 307 School Board gave approval Monday for the district to seek bids for proposed heating and air conditioning upgrades to take place during the summer of 2023.

“This is just permission to start the bid process; it doesn’t mean we are going to accept any bids,” Superintendent Matt Vosberg explained during the board meeting. “This is the next phase of air quality work, and delaying approval would set us back a little bit, because this is time sensitive.”

In March, the board approved about $3.9 million in expenses toward the first phase of HVAC and air quality upgrades, including HVAC for the original 1948 wing and classrooms on each floor of the 1973 addition. That work is slated to begin this summer.

The district is putting federal COVID-19 funding toward its goal to bring the school from 40 percent to 100 percent air conditioned and eliminate its 1948-era steam heat boilers.

The next phase of work [to start in summer 2023] would consist of adding new heating, ventilation and air conditioning to both levels of the original 1960 wing, including six classrooms on the first floor, 10 classrooms on the second floor, and the corridors on both floors.

It would also include adding HVAC to the second level classrooms of the 1973 addition above the lobby and offices as well as replacing the HVAC system in the first floor main office area and superintendent offices.

“This project hopefully would be completed by summer of 2025,” Vosberg added.

The probable cost is estimated to be about $4.2 million for work on the 1960 wing and about $2.5 million for the work on the 1973 classrooms and office areas, according to the project proposal by Bright Architecture.

The preliminary project schedule, based on current supply chain and delivery issues, would be to complete design work this summer, seek bids in the late summer or early fall and start construction in the summer of 2023, according to the proposal.

DRIVER’S EDUCATION

Also on Monday, the board approved the addition of a full-time physical education teacher in order to open five more sections for behind-the-wheel driving instruction.

The additional teacher will double the number of sections already scheduled.

In December, the board approved an additional teacher for one semester.

The previous driver’s education teacher had moved to another department, and the school was already falling behind in getting students behind the wheel instruction because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, about 200 students had yet to get behind the wheel.

Principal Brian Wright said Monday that 133 students still have yet to drive, and when the new school year begins, it will have 500 new sophomores.

Typically, about 100 students out of the sophomore class either choose not to drive or learn through private lessons.

Wright said the additional teacher will be needed needed to serve students needing to take the wheel next year so the school does not continue to get backlogged.

Reporter

Stephanie Markham joined the Daily Journal in February 2020 as the education reporter. She focuses on school boards as well as happenings and trends in local schools. She earned her B.A. in journalism from Eastern Illinois University.

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