The Riverside-Brookfield High School District 208 Board of Education is considering borrowing $7.8 million to pay for life-safety improvements to the school building and campus.

The school board will hold two public hearings on Tuesday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge of the school, 160 Ridgewood Road, to prove that there is a need for life-safety improvements and to get public comment on whether to sell bonds to pay for the improvements.

The board has not yet decided to sell life-safety bonds, but will talk about whether to do so on Tuesday. The hearings must be held before the district can sell bonds.

“At this point the board has not made any decisions,” said District 208 Superintendent Kevin Skinkis.

Skinkis said that about $2.5 million of this summer’s construction project can be considered life-safety work. That portion of the project could be paid for with money raised from selling life-safety bonds.

An additional $4.3 million of life-safety work must be completed in the next few years to bring the RBHS building into compliance with state codes.

The bleachers in the main gym and the bleachers pool area need to be replaced to conform to current state codes. They lack handrails that are now required and have gaps between the bleachers which are no longer allowed. A significant portion of the high school’s roof needs to be replaced and tuck-pointing and masonry work must be done on the building’s exterior. Flood control work is also needed.

The district’s financial advisor will be at Tuesday’s meeting to give the board advice on the cost of selling bonds.

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