District 203 beefs up security, energy savings at Madison Jr. High

<p>Madison Junior High School.  |  Kate Dougherty/For the Sun</p>

Madison Junior High School.  |  Kate Dougherty/For the Sun

Naperville School District 203 will spend $769,000 to increased security and improve energy conservation by fixing up the front entrance and school office area at Madison Junior High.

Of the six contractors that bid on the project, the School Board on Monday accepted architect Wight & Co.’s recommendation of R.B. Construction Inc. of Villa Park. Base bids ranged from R.B. Construction’s low bid of $769,000 up to $998,712 from Lite Construction Inc. of Montgomery.

Superintendent Dan Bridges said the improvements at the school, 1000 River Oak Drive, have been in development for years.

Plans call for the addition of a front canopy that will both enhance security and conserve energy by creating a vestibule with a second set of entrance doors to the lobby. Steve Mathis, District 203 director of buildings and ground, said the vestibule will provide a vapor barrier break to prevent heating or air conditioning loss.

In the main office, renovations will enhance security by creating office space adjacent to the front lobby for the school resource officer and provide management efficiencies by placing the principal’s and assistant principals’ offices in close proximity.

Mathis said as part of the office work, the district will change out the ceilings and install energy-efficient LED lighting.

He added the school also will see energy savings by replacing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that has been around since the school opened in 1978. Mathis said since work is being done in the office area, “now is the time to replace it.”

Board member Susan Crotty, who voted against the move, questioned why the administration is bringing the Madison Junior High project as separate from the district facility plan.

“On the background of it, it talks about adding better security and conserving energy in the schools as presented, and I know we have lots of school that could use that.” Crotty said. “I was surprised to see that on the agenda.”

Bridges said now is the appropriate time to address the school’s needs.

The Madison project was planned and budgeted within the fiscal year 2014-15 operations and maintenance capital improvement budget.

The Future Focus Committee identified safety and security enhancement measures at Madison Junior High as a “highest priority,” district officials said.