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District-wide projects focus of CUSD 10 meeting

By Devese “Dee” Ursery

The Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 Board of Education meeting Tuesday focused on various plans for both in-house and contracted school building projects. 

Josh Dewitte, director of building and grounds, in his report said that the annual cleaning and servicing of all rooftop units in the district will be done this summer by HVAC crews. He said all of the supply and return valves will also be cleaned by the custodial staff of each school. 

“It’s been every other year, but we’re going to move on a yearly basis,” Dewitte said.

Construction at Dorris Intermediate School is one of the biggest projects of the summer for CUSD 10. Dewitte said that they will be building walls and doors for the relocation of two physical education offices. 

“It’s actually room 141B, just behind the old boys locker room,” Dewitte said. “That would free up some much needed storage space in the gym area.”

Staff will also be moving the wall between 124A and 124B to accommodate the possibility of using it for another classroom. Dewitte said that the loading docks at DIS are in bad shape and need to be redone with stairs and rails.

According to reports, more emergency lights will be installed at Collinsville High School, which will be funded by the COPS grant. There will be four rebuilt fixtures at CHS football field and changing the exterior lighting behind the main building to L.E.D. lights. They are currently using metal halide or high-pressure sodium lights.

Dewitte said the Collinsville Middle School will get its batting cage redone with full metal poles and concrete footing. He said if time permits, the plan is to get started on Renfro Elementary’s playground. He explained that they will use rubber mulch like they did for other schools in the district, last year.

Staff will be replacing some old fencing at Webster. Dewitte said that Kreitner is getting a washer and dryer with electric vents installed. He said that more interior will be added to the list after the principals submit their wants/needs list in April.

Dewitte went on to discuss projects with outside contractors. CHS was first up with a litany of projects slatted.  

“To mirror what we did at the high school we will paint the second floor halls, offices and classrooms,” Dewitt said.

The big project for CHS is the renovation of six bathrooms in conjunction with the four bathrooms that need renovating at Webster Elementary. The Board made a motion to approve the duct work for the gym at CHS. First floor L.E.D. lights and reconstruction of the ceiling grid and cove base are all upcoming improvements coming to the high school. 

Dewitte said repairs for the gym floor are tentatively scheduled for Easter break. He said the District is still waiting on confirmation to ensure that there will be enough staff there to complete the project in two to three days. He also explained that they are installing a HVAC unit in the IT server room

Dewitte said occupancy sensor installation started on Tuesday at CMS and it will take three to four weeks to complete. He said that Holland Construction is overseeing the ceiling grids and pads replacement as well as renovations to some classrooms and expanding the conference room.

Dennis Craft, treasurer, said that the Budget Committee met on Monday to discuss the proposed upgrade to the Collinsville JC Complex on Collinsville Road near the CMS and the water plant. The Committee spoke on plans focusing on attracting athletic tournaments to the region.

Craft said that initial discussions with Collinsville included upgrades to the fields at the Complex and adding turf baseball and softball fields at CMS to allow for hosting large tournaments. He said the City is looking into the possibility of constructing an indoor Challenger Miracle Field that would be available to CMS P.E. classes. 

A Challenger Miracle Field is a barrier-free athletic Field, and an ADA accessible playground. The field is made with a rubberized cushioned turf surface that is fully wheelchair accessible. Adjacent to the field are our ADA-compliant restrooms, concessions stand and pavilion which provides cover from inclement weather.

The District awarded many certificates for the 2023 Law Enforcement Polar Plunge.The plunge was held at the VFW in Collinsville and drew a substantial crowd. This year’s event raised $7,000 while last year’s plunge collected $12,000 in donations.

Dr. Brad Skertich, superintendent of CUSD 10, reported on a few key dates for the spring. He reminded the Board of the upcoming sports season that are fast approaching, like track, baseball and softball. He also spoke of tours and solos and ensembles that the middle school and high school bands have to prepare for as well. 

Skertich reminded the Board of the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony that will take place at 6 p.m. on April 25. He said that rehearsals for ‘Legally Blonde’ will begin on April 13

Skertich said there are 420 students that currently attend Collinsville Alternative Vocational Center and increased funding is needed to keep vocational/trade programs up and running in the district. 

Skertich said that he and others have been working to tell that story over the last few months to whoever would listen from the state and federal level.

“The reality is, if we’re going to put students in the field  that are ready, we also have to have the facilities and course operatives to prepare them whether it be technical or trade school,” Skerrtich said.


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