S.E. Gross Middle School (Google maps)

Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95 will spend nearly $1 million dollars this summer to repair the roof at S.E. Gross Middle School. At its March 10 meeting, the District 95 school board voted unanimously to award a contract worth $992,250 to St. Charles-based Malcor Roofing to work on the roof.

Instead of installing a completely new roof, Malcor will replace all the wet insulation on the existing roof, cut and patch that portion of the roof and then put a polyurethane coating over the entire roof. The fix comes with a 20-year guarantee.

Malcor reportedly is expert in this process and made a substantially lower bid than other companies.

“His experience gives him a leg up,” said Steve Cashman, the district’s architect about Malcor.

Cashman said Malcor has used this process in other school districts in the western suburbs and at Brookfield Zoo.

The contract includes $153,000 for masonry work and $17,850 for chimney work and tuck-pointing. The existing roof at S.E. Gross School is 23 years old. 

The cost is much higher than the $525,000 to $550,000 that was estimated 10 months ago. But inflation has resulted in skyrocketing prices for construction work. Superintendent Mark Kuzniewski recommended against waiting in the hopes that the price would decrease.

“These costs aren’t going to stop going up over the next 12 to 18 months,” Kuzniewski told the school board.

The school district plans to use approximately $400,000 in federal pandemic relief aid to supplement the $525,000 that was originally budgeted for the roof work.

In the next few years parts of the roof at Brook Park School will also have to addressed, although the deteriorating area of the Brook Park roof is much smaller than at Gross.

New positions announced

In other District 95 news, the administration is planning to add three additional staff positions next year, a social worker at Brook Park, an English as second language teacher and a special education resource teacher. The school board will vote on whether to authorize the new positions at its April 14 meeting.

The school board also voted unanimously to hire James Gay to become the new director of buildings and grounds, replacing Rich Batka who is retiring at the end of this year.  

Gay, who is the assistant director of buildings and grounds at Morton High School District 201, will be paid $105,000 a year. Gay will begin work in District 95 on July 1, but Batka will not retire until Dec. 31 so he can help Gay in the transition.