A. F. Ames Elementary School in Riverside (File)

The older portion of Ames School in Riverside will be getting a new roof this summer, and portions of the roofs at other schools in Riverside Elementary School District 96 will be replaced or repaired as part of a summer maintenance project that will cost just over $1.4 million.

On April 6, in a meeting held in the new multipurpose room at Hollywood School, the District 96 Board of Education approved awarding a contract to Chicago-based Tandem Construction to do the work, which will also include tuck-pointing the brick exteriors of all the district’s school buildings.

“These are not discretionary projects, they are necessary,” said school board member Shari Klyber.

The work at Ames will be the most extensive with a completely new roof being installed on the older portion of the building. The work at Ames is projected to cost $869,000. 

Parts of the roofs at L.J. Hauser Junior High School and Central School will be replaced. The work at the Central/Hauser campus will cost $403,000 while the work at Blythe Park and Hollywood schools will cost a combined $163,000. 

Work at Hollywood School in Brookfield is expected to minimal, since the school’s roof will need to be replaced in a few years.

The cost of the roof and masonry work is about 15 percent higher than estimated.

The school board also unanimously approved awarding a contract worth $214,820 to Alessio & Sons of Lombard to construct a new waterline to Central School this summer.  A new water line is needed because the old one broke last year when a new sprinkler system was being installed. This waterline will run under the Hauser parking lot instead of underneath the St. Paul’s Church property just to the southeast of Central School. 

The cost to replace the Central School waterline also turned out to be about 20 percent higher than had been estimated. That’s not unusual in a time of rising inflation. The smaller nature of the projects also can lead to higher costs.

“It’s not uncommon for smaller bids to be more variable,” said school board member Wesley Muirheid.

Meetings back on the move

The school board meeting on April 6 was the first meeting in more than two years not held either remotely or at Ames School. 

After holding meetings exclusively at Ames School since the fall of 2020, the school board has decided to go back to its previous schedule of holding regular board meetings, which occur on the third Wednesday of the month, at Hauser while rotating the monthly committee of the whole meetings, which take place on the first Wednesday of the month, at one of the district’s elementary schools.

The first meeting outside Ames in more than 18 months was held at Hollywood to show off the school’s new multipurpose room which opened late last fall. The new multipurpose room is currently used for music classes, staff lunch-and-learn sessions, and as a meeting room when two or more classes get together. 

Eventually the multipurpose room will also be used as a lunch room for students. For now, Hollywood School students are still eating lunch in the school’s gym to promote social distancing since the gym is larger than the multipurpose room.