The Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95 school board last week authorized Superintendent Thomas Hurlburt to begin seeking candidates to fill the role of construction manager for the planned addition to Brook Park School, but still remain weeks away from committing themselves to any specific construction timeline for the project.
In a separate interview, Hurlburt explained the construction manager would coordinate sub-contractors for different aspects of the construction project and would also work with the school in coordinating time schedules to avoid disrupting classes and other activities while work is underway.
"This will be an individual that has an understanding of the construction aspect of the project, but will be able to make sure it fits in with everything we're doing at the school," he said. "In talking with other schools that have done large construction projects, it's pretty much agreed that with the efficiency construction managers bring to a project, they pay for themselves."
Hurlburt said he would begin seeking candidates and conducting interviews for the position soon, although he was not sure when the final hiring decision would be made.
As for plans for the actual addition itself, Hurlburt told the board at its Aug. 10 meeting that he has been working with the district's architect firm, FGM Architects Engineers Inc., in determining exactly how the additional space would be used. He said those talks took place in conjunction with the final design phase of the district's master plan, in which FGM will provide the district with options on how to best renovate or rebuild its facilities in the coming years.
"We talked about what would be in the rooms, exactly how they'll be used, not just about the bricks and mortar," Hurlburt said, adding that the next step of the design phase will be to have similar discussions with staff members at both Brook Park and S.E. Gross Middle School.
Although the discussions are a small step forward in the construction process, Hurlburt said the district still hasn't committed itself to a specific timeline for the construction of the addition. At the board's July 20 meeting, Hurlburt laid out two possible timelines, a "very fast" option that would have the addition completed by the end of August 2007, and a "fast" option that would finish the addition by January 2008. Before making a final decision, he said the board would gather more information from FGM and hold another community meeting in September.
"We're trying to position ourselves in such a way that we have the opportunity to go with the fast or very fast timelines," he said. "With that in mind, we're not going to rush into something that's not in the best interest of the district."