by Susan O’Neill
KANELANDâ€”The Kaneland School Board on Monday gave the go-ahead to the administration to seek bids for an athletic equipment storage facility on the Harter Middle School campus. In addition to storing athletic equipment, the building would also house maintenance equipment and tractors, and include an overhang area for a concession stand and bathrooms for athletic events.
Originally estimated at $1.1 million, district officials have set aside this amount in the referendum-funded projects budget. Current cost estimates are at $998,648 to construct the 4,700-square-foot facility with the possibility to expand the building to 6,000 square feet.
The district is currently storing athletic equipment in a rented semi-trailer in the back of the Harter Middle School parking lot and maintenance tractors (with fuel) inside of the building in the loading dock area. This convinced the Finance Planning Committee of the necessity to construct the building.
â€œThe original plan was a Taj Mahal plan,â€ School Board and ad hoc committee member Bob Myers said of the plan presented several months ago. â€œThis is a pretty scaled-back, bare-bones approach.â€
When board member Diane Piazza questioned why there was not more of a savings from the original estimate if this was a bare-bones approach, Myers explained that much of the additional cost comes from the cost of running electricity, water, sewer and plumbing to the site.
Located at the south end of the football field, the facility would address the majority of events at that facility, although there would be times when the addition of port-a-potties would still be needed. Myers said. When the new high school is built, it would need to have its own athletic storage facility, he added.
Administration officials said that the building should be completed prior to winter, although not before the start of the school year.