New playgrounds, MRCs in District 181

Students at The Lane and Madison schools are enjoying new playgrounds, while Elm and Monroe schools are taking advantage of new media resource centers as part of almost $3.1 million in summer construction projects in Community Consolidated Elementary District 181.

The district spent $629,000 on the two playgrounds, according to a memo from Mike Duggan, district facilities director. The biggest expense was the demolition of existing structures and installation of new and engineered wood fiber at a cost of $397,000. The district paid $97,000 for poured in place surfaces, $95,000 for concrete and $40,000 for excavation and grading.

The PTOs contributed complimentary pieces of playground equipment to enhance the basic layout.

"We thank the PTOs for their generous contributions to the playground additions," Duggan said at the Sept. 14 board meeting.

The projects came in $79,000 over budget, in part because of grading issues at The Lane.

"The elevation drops from the rear lot line to the parking lot about 20 feet," Duggan said, which presented a challenge to providing an accessible playground.

Both playgrounds will need to be fully completed next summer.

The media resource center remodeling and Elm and Monroe schools totaled just over $1 million. At Elm School, nine classrooms and offices that surround the MRC were part of the project, as they were built with temporary metal walls that were not soundproof.

"The finished product makes it look like a new school," Duggan said at the board meeting.

Original hardware from the 1920s and 1950s was replaced at Monroe and The Lane School at a cost of $565,000. Steel doors and related hardware were installed and painted. Wood doors, which were not available over the summer, will be installed over Thanksgiving break.

The other three projects were flooring replacement at The Lane at a cost of $480,000, Oak School roof rehabilitation for $228,000 and a new walk-in cooler at Clarendon Hills Middle School for $157,000.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean