Thursday, April 17, 2014

Author of Comment Represents that "Majority" of Facilities Committee will NOT Recommend a New Roof for Hinsdale Middle School at the April 21 Special Board Meeting

This evening we received the following comment, with a request to post on the blog.  We have decided to publish it as a free-standing post because the facilities needs at Hinsdale Middle School have been on the front burner of the issues D181 is currently facing.  Water leaks, burst pipes and the discovery of a mass infestation of 20 years worth of mold at HMS in January and February have led to the Facilities Committee addressing what should be the appropriate course to take to resolve all the HMS building issues.  Should the old roof be replaced with a new one?  Should a new school be built? The comment we have received below sheds some light on what we can expect to hear from the "majority" of the committee at the April 21 Special Board Meeting at Elm School at 7 p.m.:

"Anonymous said...

Please post on the blog that there is a special D181 BOE meeting on Monday, April 21 at Elm School at 7 pm. On the agenda is the subject of a new roof for HMS. The D181 Facilities Committee will be recommending the BOE NOT approve a new $2.33 million roof for HMS. Instead, the overwhelming majority of the Facilities Committee recommends that the BOE select Option 1, Patch and Repair. This option is a short-term (up to 5 years) roof solution that will keep the HMS students safe and allow the District to complete research to determine the community's interest in a long-term solution for HMS. The Patch and Repair Option deals with the remaining identified issues at HMS, while allowing the BOE to take informed, research-based action that would have long-term solutions for HMS. In addition, it would also allow time for the new superintendent to be involved in the HMS solution process. It is crucial that the D181 community attend this meeting in order to understand the situation and options for HMS, as well as demonstrate to the BOE the support for a permanent solution to the inadequate HMS building. Thank you."

The Facilities Committee is made up of D181 Administrators Schuster, Frisch and Benaitis, Board Members Garg and Clarin, former school board member Ann Mueller, former school board member and Hinsdale trustee Michael Woerner, current and retired D181 teachers and other parents and community members.  It will be interesting to read the official "Report" that the committee submits and listen to the live presentation during the meeting.  Hopefully the written report will be published on Board Docs over the weekend so all parents and taxpayers can review it prior to the meeting.

It will also be interesting to see if the written report aligns with the comment above. We know from past experience and comments made at board meetings from members of other "committees" (Click to open 8/31/13 Post.) that written reports prepared by the administration do not always reflect the understandings of all committee members. Will this be another example of committee members' recommendations being ignored by the administration? We have learned that there has already been dissension expressed about whether this committee should have been a Board Committee versus the Superintendent's Committee that Dr. Schuster insisted it be structured as. Will there be more dissension expressed on Monday?

As requested by the author of the comment, please attend the April 21 Special Meeting.  Any money spent on HMS now will be an investment in our students' educations and futures.  It is important for all taxpayers and parents in D181 to listen carefully to what the committee recommends, since millions spent now on a new roof might negatively impact the community's willingness to fund a new school in the near future, while a short term "patch and repair" option may give everyone the time needed to fully explore and plan for a longer term, state of the art solution in the form of a new middle school.  Most importantly, we hope the BOE listens carefully and then fully discusses whatever recommendations are presented. If the recommendations do not match what the comment above represents, we hope the BOE asks each committee member to state publicly on the record what their individual recommendations are.

So stay tuned.  We will report back on this issue after Monday's meeting.


The Parents said...

Speaking of Committee meetings, does anyone know what happened at the Finance Committee meeting that was held yesterday? Did Mr. Yaeger show up? How has the attendance of other members of that committee been? After all, as Mr. Yaeger pointed out at the last board meeting, "when something is important to people they'll find the time to get there."

Anonymous said...

Yaeger present at this weeks finance meeting, but no Clarin or Lewehnson (who has been a no show for quite some time). After all the fuss Schuster caused reappointing her back onto this committee as a community member after she was not re-elected to the BOE, where has she been?

Anonymous said...

Does the finance committee know that they are paying Dr. Schneider's salary while he moonlights at an upcoming education conference at Rosemont next month? Did they know that he also had a gig for 3 days to consult for Lake Forest's school district? Has he made up those days, or will his salary those days be deducted?

Also, does the finance committee determine, according to the contract, whether or not Mr. Russell's and Mr. Eccarious' tuition reimbursement be fully paid back to the district? $75,000 worth of tuition would pay a teacher's salary, or go a long way towards roof repairs.