Janesville School District to tackle capital improvement projects this summer

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Nick Crow
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

JANESVILLE--The Janesville School District will soon seek bids on the latest projects that are part of its five-year capital improvement plan.

"This is our third year having a five-year plan," said Keith Pennington, chief financial officer for the district. "It lets us focus on what's ahead for next year. The board as a whole has been supportive. I think they understand paying a little now or paying a lot later."

Two years ago, roofs were improved at Jackson Elementary and sections of Wilson Elementary. Last year, the parking lot at Franklin Middle School was replaced.

This year, the board has approved plans to replace the parking lot at Edison Middle School and sections of roof at Craig and Parker high schools.

Here are details on the projects:

What they are: A new 28,500-square-foot section of parking lot for Edison Middle School and replacing 35,000 square feet of roof over the pool at Parker and over the old gymnasium and 700 hall area at Craig.

Work is expected to begin in early July.

The problem: The parking lot at Edison has not been replaced since 1971. It was most recently repaired in 2008.

"It's original to the building construction," said Dave Leeder, maintenance manager of building and grounds for the district. "This will be a complete tear-out. It's beyond it's useful life and beyond repair."

The roofs for both high schools are from original sections of the buildings and are in "pretty bad shape", Leeder said.

"They have had numerous leaks," Leeder said. "We're starting to stick too much money into repair."

Leeder estimated the roof sections haven't been replaced in at least 20 years. There have been no major leaks, but ignoring the problem could lead to that, he said.

The details: The school board approved $400,000 for the in improvements at Craig and Parker high schools and Edison Middle School. The improvements should make up less than 25 percent of the district's total capital improvement budget, Pennington said. Last year, the district had $1.7 million in capital improvement funding.

The cost: The school board will go out for bids, but Pennington expects the roof projects to cost about $300,000 and the parking lot about $100,000.

"That's pretty similar to other repairs we've done over the years," Pennington said. "It's not a danger or anything like that. If something new comes up, we take a look at the five-year plan and reassess."

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