School-wide improvement project commences

The Fairbury Public Schools School Board came to a consensus and chose five school improvement projects included in phase one of their six-year improvement plan.

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Blue print drawings illustrate the plans for the high school renovations, including updated locker rooms and an office remodel.

Phase one consists mostly of high school improvement projects, with the exception of renovation of the office and the addition of an elevator for handicap access at Central Elementary.

“We’re hoping really by the time the thaw happens in March or so that they’ll be ready to start doing some things in preparation for once school gets out,” Superintendent of Fairbury Public Schools Stephen Grizzle said. “But the bulk of the work won’t start until after we get out of school.”

Mr. Grizzle explains that high school construction will take priority and be started and completed before work on Central, due to the time and preparation required for work at Central.

“The high school is going to start right away, a lot of preliminary stuff at Central will start this summer,” Mr. Grizzle said. “But it sounds like that’s not going to be able to be done until the following year just because the elevator takes a lot of time and a lot of planning.”

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This layout highlights the plans for updating and expanding the high school office and a new entryway.

The first improvement on the high school the School Board is planning includes the renovation of the main entrance and walkway to the main entrance with the addition of a canopy.

The school board also has plans to expand the high school office, specifically to the west and south. This will create a larger conference room and a separate room for in-school suspension (ISS). The expansion will also allow a remodeling of the office.

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Blueprints for updated commons bathrooms depict the wheelchair-accessible stalls at the back of the bathroom and only two sinks.

Upon discovering three inches of water in the commons due to a flooded urinal early this semester, it became apparent that the main bathrooms at the high school were in desperate need of an upgrade, which is also one part of phase one.

Perhaps the most appealing to FHS students is the possibility of new showers in all of the locker rooms. However, this particular project will only be done permitting enough money in the budget after all of the other improvements. The currently decided budget is $2 million with intention of keeping construction costs under $1.8 million.

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Providing there is extra money in the planned budget, the locker rooms will be renovated as shown.

Mr. Grizzle explained that the board settled on the three phase, six year plan as opposed to a bond issue, which makes the most financial sense because the six year plan will keep interest costs low. But he clarifies that while the current plan is only three phases and six years, other situations may arise that call for additional work.

“Right now we’re looking at three phases but in all actuality as our needs keep coming up we could keep identifying projects that we want to do that could go on for another phase or two.” Mr. Grizzle explained.

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