LTHS board OKs $6.3 million air-conditioning upgrade

This summer Lyons Township High School will spend a little more than $6.3 million to add air conditioning to the school’s South Campus and to replace the air conditioning units at the North Campus Vaughan Fieldhouse following a 6-0 vote by the District 204 Board of Education on Jan. 18.

Northbrook-based F.E. Moran Co. was awarded the contract to do the work.

Nine air handling units will be replaced at the North Campus fieldhouse. At South Campus, the remainder of B Wing and the entire C Wing will be air conditioned, meaning about 60 additional classrooms will be air conditioned as a result of this project.

 The scope of the project is ambitious but district officials said the F.E. Moran was confident that they could complete the all the work over the summer. F.E. Moran will have three separate crews working six days a week at LTHS this summer. The fieldhouse will be out of service from May 16 until Sept. 16. 

“We believe that they ought to be able to complete the work in a timely fashion,” said Brian Stachacz, the director of business services for LTHS, at the school board meeting. “They are confident they can get it done.

The district will use $2 million in federal pandemic relief money and a $1 million state grant to help pay for the project. The rest of the payment for the project will come out of the school district’s cash reserves. LTHS had an operating surplus of approximately $5 million last year.

F.E. Moran was the low bidder among the seven companies that submitted bids for the project.

The district will pay an additional $55,511 for asbestos removal work related to the air-conditioning project. The school board voted 6-0 to award the contract for the asbestos removal work to Great Western Abatement, a company based in downstate Jerseyville. Great Western was the low bidder among the three companies submitting bids for the asbestos removal work.

The school board also tentatively approved spending $218,854.75 for a new scoreboard at Bennett Field, where the LTHS team football, soccer and track teams compete. 

The new scoreboard, which still must be approved by the village of Western Springs, will measure 13.2-by-25 feet and have a full LED video display.

The existing scoreboard at Bennett Field is about 20 years old and the school is starting to have trouble getting replacement parts for it, Stachacz told the school board.

The new scoreboard will be a full video board. The LTHS Booster Club and the LTHS Alumni Association will each contribute $59,000 toward the cost of the new scoreboard.

“That generosity is really appreciated,” said LTHS school board member Alison Kelly.