Chesterton Tribune



School board OKs $110,000 change order for pavement at bus garage

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The Duneland School Corporation is going to spend up to $110,000 more than originally thought necessary for improvements at the Special Services Area where school buses are kept.

The School Board voted 5-0 in favor of a change order Monday recommended by Duneland Director of Support Services Greg Lindy to do extra paving work.

Lindy said that after crews started grinding the top layer of the road surface surrounding the Services Center, whole sections were discovered to have no base layer at all.

“What we are going to have to do is dig that out, put some additional base underneath it before we can pour more asphalt,” Lindy said.

Engineering consultant John Sturgill of McMahon & Associates said he believes the parking lot was originally asphalted over 20 years ago and had previously been just a gravel lot. When that gravel got top coated, that layer started to fail over the years because of an insufficient base underneath and caused “patches,” Sturgill said.

The patches have impeded drainage to catch basins, he said, which has exacerbated the failure of pavement over time.

Lindy said the new base will go only in the sections where it is needed rather than the whole lot.

Answering Board President Kristin Kroeger’s question of where the funding would come from, Duneland Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilasz said there is enough money in the Corporations’ Transportation budget earmarked for capital projects.

“It will just lessen the cash balance that would roll into next year (for the budget),” Kwilasz said.

Sturgill told the board that the $110,000 “will fix it the right way.” He said he looked over the entire parking lot to identify the areas in highest need and minimize the cost. The total area of the repairs will be about 2,800 square yards, most of it concentrated on the west side of the bus barn. Rieth-Riley Construction is doing the work.

“It’s going to provide us with a good base. Much better than there has ever been out there,” Sturgill said, adding that it will even support the weight of fuel trucks.

A busy summer

Lindy said he estimates his department is overseeing around 45 projects this summer at all nine school buildings and all seem to be “moving right on track pretty well” to be ready when classes resume next month.

Paving projects make up a large portion of the work, Lindy said. Besides the bus barn, crews are paving near the playground area at Liberty Intermediate, with new basketball goals and striping to be completed in the next couple of days.

The walkway on the west side of the middle school along the fence is ground out and ready for new pavement.

The tops of the parking lot and driveways at CHS are ready, minus some seal coating on the main thoroughfare which has been delayed because of rain, Lindy said. Outdoor softball, baseball and soccer fields have been improved.

Next, Lindy reported new doors and locks for all classrooms will be ready at Yost Elementary, as well as improvements to the HVAC system.

The CMS natatorium is still undergoing improvements, Lindy said, and duct work was put in Monday. Lighting was put in the locker rooms and the pool should be finished on time. The CMS gymnasium floor was sanded back to bare wood and striped to look better this school year, he said. In addition, lights are being added to the science lab areas and new carpeting was laid in the media center.

At Liberty Intermediate, ceiling panels are being brightened in the cafeteria and lights were added in the serving area. Lindy said crews are also putting in a gas line to replace one that broke at the end of the last school year.

Jackson Elementary will see its flow of hot water improved with new pumps installed. Bailly Elementary ceilings are being brightened and lights are being installed, Lindy said.

Building trades donations

Approving the $65,921 recommended by Duneland Schools Superintendent Ginger Bolinger for the Building Trades outdoor classroom next year, the board also voted to accept donations of several trailers.

Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz, Steve Slater, Horses Landscaping and the Building Trades organization are willing to donate trailers so the class will have wood storage, tool storage and an office/classroom space at its worksite.

Building trades class instructor Tom Garzella said he is hoping to get two additional trailers. Board member Mike Trout said he may have some trailers available.

Bolinger said the $65,921, which will be taken from Duneland’s Capital Projects Fund, will cover the costs of utilities for the class.

Renewed by the board was the yearly construction labor agreement with Housing Opportunities Inc. and the Duneland Building Trades Corporation for the building trades class at Chesterton High School.

Life insurance benefits

In other actions, the board voted on Bolinger’s recommendation to “standardize” life insurance benefits for part-time and full-time Duneland employees.

As it has been, Bolinger said employees have been eligible to receive life insurance based on earnings. In the amendments, employees will now be eligible to receive a flat amount -- $15,000 for part-time employees and $50,000 for full-time employees.

Goetz informed the board that minor guideline changes were approved by Duneland’s Wellness Committee recently to make sure its language is in line with the state. No policy changes were required, he said.

Bread and milk

Also, the board approved bids from Alpha Baking Company, which is headquartered in Chicago but has facilities in Northwest Indiana, to supply bread for the upcoming school year, and Clover Crest Dairy of Hobart for milk. Both companies were chosen as the suppliers last year.


Posted 7/17/2017





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