After having work delayed by a strike and having the entire student body moved to another school for a year, District 146's is almost ready to go for the 2011-2012 school year.
In still needs some "tweaks" and a final run-through by the architects, but Brian Scully of DLA Architects told the school board on Monday he expects to approach the Suburban Cook County Regional Office of Education for an occupancy permit for the school within the week.
"For all intents and purposes if you had to occupy it today, you could go ahead and occupy it," Scully said.
Superintendent Marion Hoyda praised the renovation work on the Memorial building.
"I did a walkthrough today and it's just lovely," she said. "Very welcoming, very warm."
The work was supposed to be completed before the school year began, but the Laborer's Union and Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers went on strike over the summer, halting Memorial and several other projects through the region. When the strike (which was not over the Memorial project) was resolved, work couldn't be completed by the August start of school.
That's why Scully called 146 "probably the luckiest district in the Cook County area." They had a school to spare. had been empty since the end of the 2008-2009 school year, when its student body had been moved to the new, larger .
They simply and let work proceed at Memorial.
Since the district does not plan to move the students from Sandidge back to Memorial in the middle of the school year, the district is considering doing more work in the currently vacant Memorial. The district will go to bid December 6 for unit vents to heat and cool the classrooms.
The district had planned to replace the system down the road, Scully said. But with the economy making construction crews hungry for work (possibly driving down the price) and the building empty anyway, it looked like a good time for the project, he said.