The District 200 Board of Education hired ECRA Group, Inc. Wednesday night to a conduct a community survey regarding the district's capital development plans and provide consultant services to help with community forums on Early Childhood Center.
Superintendent Dr. Brian Harris said he expects ECRA will conduct the survey in early or mid-October. He said by the November meeting he expects to recommend whether the district should put a referendum question on the 2013 election ballot regarding the district's capital development needs.
"If we choose to go to a referendum we want to make an informed choice," Harris said.
The district will pay the Rosemont-based firm $15,200 to complete 80 hours of work—60 hours dedicated to the survey and 20 hours for consulting—and provide the district the survey and a comprehensive survey analysis report, according to the agreement. For services beyond 80 hours, the district would pay ECRA $190 per hour. The term of the agreement is one year.
Board member Barbara Intihar expressed concern that the agreement does not include dates, or a timeline for completion of the survey or analysis.
"We didn't put a whole lot of details in the agreement," Harris said. He said one reason was to have some "latitude" in the agreement, and that he felt confident in their abilities to do the work based on the district's timeline.
Throughout the year, a District 200 capital development committee looked at building needs in the district and identified Jefferson as the facility most in need of renovation.
However, though Jefferson is the district's "knottiest problem," board president Rosemary Swanson said the survey will help the district determine other capital needs.
At a May board meeting, district staff, board members and representatives from Legat Architects discussed two $29 million options to rebuild Jefferson, the district's School Services Center ( and rehab, or sell, Woodland School, a district storage facility in Warrenville.
District 200 paid $7,600 upon signing the agreement and will pay the other $7,600 after ECRA submits its final report, according to the agreement.
Legat representative Patrick Brosnan presented the following options to the board at the May meeting:
- Option one: All facilities would remain at their current locations. The district would build a new Jefferson Early Childhood Center (ECC); the SSC would be expanded for a larger boardroom and additional storage. Woodland would be expanded for vehicle and technology storage.
- Option two: Combines the SSC and the new Jefferson ECC in one building on the Jefferson property, with one wing of district offices on a second floor. The current SSC building would be expanded for vehicle maintenance and storage, and the district would sell Woodland School.
A board subcommittee comprising Jim Vroman and Joann Coghill recommended "option two" to the board.
The first community forum at Jefferson Early Childhood Center will be 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27.