District 203 planning for $6.5 million in capital improvements in 2024-25 school year budget   

Exterior of District 203 administration building
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Six big-ticket items with a combined estimated price tag of $6.5 million are a part of Naperville School District 203’s recently unveiled facility capital improvement plan for the upcoming school year.

As is customary practice, District 203 administrators and the board of education hash over the larger capital projects that are on the horizon in the last month of the calendar year. The exercise is one of multiple steps in building budgets for the next school year.

What’s on the docket for the 2024-25 school year

The second phase of a roof replacement project at Madison Junior High School is the costliest of the six items on the list of capital projects for the upcoming 2024-25 school year. It has an estimated cost of $2.92 million.

Three of the six items on the docket are sports or recreation related. The list includes tennis court replacements ($1.6 million) and a track replacement proposal ($675,000), both at Naperville North High School. Also on the list are playground updates at Maplebrook Elementary School ($469,700).

Several big-ticket technical items also are on the list, including chiller replacements at Elmwood Elementary and Lincoln Junior High schools, which together have an estimated $490,000 price tag. Rounding out the list is a window replacement project at Kingsley Elementary School, at a cost of $353,500.

The supply chain and planning ahead

Melanie Brown, a district staffer who officially was installed as District 203’s new buildings and grounds director at the Dec. 4 meeting, delved into her new duties the same evening as she discussed the importance of planning ahead.

“Due to lingering supply chain issues and long lead times, we have preordered the chillers, and the playground equipment,” Brown said. “The other projects are either out to bid for board approval or are at final architectural and engineering stages, prior to going out to bid.”

Capital improvement projects bubble to the surface through several planning exercises. Among them: once-in-a-decade safety surveys, reviews of building and site conditions across the district footprint and regular cyclical rotations of existing equipment.

Looking out even further for capital improvement projects

While the crux of the recent discussion focused on capital improvement projects for the 2024-25 school year, Brown and Superintendent Dan Bridges also touched on future projects in the 2025-26 school year, which are subject to change.

Based on the current, tentative plan, boiler replacements at three schools ($945,000, combined) are the biggest ticket item on District 203’s capital improvement project list for the 2025-26 school year.

In the 2026-27 school year, an assortment of so-called “life safety” projects are the costliest items on the list, at $1 million. In the 2027-28 school year, officials tentatively are planning $2 million worth of roofing replacement projects.

The board of education is slated to take action solely on the 2024-25 school year projects, which are tied to the upcoming tax levy at the next meeting Dec. 18. If adopted, the projects will be added into the full budget for the upcoming school year that will be adopted in May.

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