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April 15. 2008



APRIL 15, 2008



The Budget and Finance/Property Committee of the Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met on April 15, 2008, in the Media Center at Rich East High School, Park Forest, Illinois.


Mrs. Norwood called the meeting to order at 6:13 p.m.


Present: Norwood (Chair), Brookins (Member) Moten (6:21 p.m.), Upshaw (6:25 p.m.)


Also Present: Mr. Brian Guastella (McGladrey), Mr. Cedric Hampton (Brazley), Mr. Phil Thiele (Gilbane), Mr. Joe Licatesi, Mrs. Pam Wynne, Mr. Ilandus Hampton, Mr. Howard, Hunigan, Mrs. Ruth Treichel


Mr. Hampton noted that there was an item on the Board agenda regarding alternate bids.  On March 11 public notice for bids was given for all three campuses, and on April 10, 2008, bids were received.  Mr. Thiele from Gilbane was recognized.  He noted that all bidders were brought in and interviewed.  Some bidders had to be dismissed as they did not have all the documentation. 


Mr. Hampton stated that the costs for these alternate projects are reflected in the current budget.  The contingency remains the same – at 2.5 million dollars. 


Mr. Hampton stated that at Rich Central the alternate bids include site lighting upgrade, press box and football field renovation.  He noted that the alternate bids for Rich East include site lighting upgrade, press box, concession stand and football field renovation.  The alternate bids for Rich South include site lighting upgrade, conversion of existing Media Center into classrooms and football field renovation.


Mr. Hampton also noted that he was requesting an alternate site lighting project for Rich South High School.


Mrs. Norwood noted that District 159 had problems with Chicago Heights Construction Co.  Mr. Thiele responded that Gilbane has had no problems with Chicago Heights Construction, that in fact it is one of the best contractors on site.


Mrs. Norwood asked if the District was using minorities for its work.  Mr. Thiele responded that there were subcontractors who are minorities. 


Mrs. Norwood asked if any of the contractors were from the District.  Mr. Hampton responded that no one from the District bid on the projects.




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Mrs. Norwood stated she would like to see the number of women who have been employed.


Mrs. Brookins asked about temperature control.  Mr. Licatesi noted that it is software driven. 


Mrs. Norwood asked when the projects would begin.  Mr. Hampton responded that they would begin in mid-May, and all projects would be finished by the time school starts in August. The District is working on a more definitive date for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Rich South. 


Mr. Thiele noted that all the concrete work has been completed at Rich South and the roof is 95% complete. 


Mr. Hampton added that the goal is to have the work completed at Rich South before the end of school.  Mr. Thiele noted that the cafeteria furnishings will not be in until late May.  Mr. Hampton stated that the seniors will be invited back for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.


Mr. Thiele noted that the construction work at Rich Central should be right on track in three weeks and should be completed by mid-June.


Mr. Hampton noted he is looking at the traffic flow for Rich Central and will add the information to the weekly packet. 


Mr. Hampton and Mrs. Wynne gave a presentation on a prepay system for the lunch program at the three schools.  The Bloomington schools have had such a system for the last couple of years.  There will be information in the registration packets regarding this system.


Mrs. Norwood asked how the District will handle kids who don’t have money in their account.


Mrs. Wynne responded that students have until 9:30 a.m. to make deposits in their accounts.  She noted that everyone needs to be acclimated to the system.


Mr. Hampton stated that MyLunchMoney.com always knows how much money is in each student’s account, and what the student is eating.  Parents can also put a limitation on what students spend every day.  There is no charge to the District.  The parents pay the fee to use the system.



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Mrs. Brookins added that she felt a receipt should be given every time money is put into an account. There are a lot of parents who are not very involved with their children. 


Mrs. Upshaw asked if the money will roll over.  Mrs. Wynne stated it would.  If a senior wants his/her money which is left in the account, a check will be made out in the parent’s name.  The schools try to get the seniors to use up their monies.


Mr. Hampton noted that this system interphases with the software the District currently uses.


Mr. Hampton noted that he will keep the Board informed.  There will be information in the Parent/Student Handbooks.


Mr. Brian Guastella from McGladrey made a presentation on the District’s 2006-2007 audit.  He noted the auditors do not look at every transaction.  Everything is materially correct with the District.  The District currently has a financial profile of “Review.”  Based on Illinois State Board of Education accounting practices, the review of the bonds sold is not reflected in our operating costs.  However, expenditures from the construction projects are reflected in our operating costs.  Expenditures for the construction projects skew the overall balance in the Operations and Maintenance Fund, resulting in a deficit in the O&M Fund.  Due to the deficit in the O&M Fund (12.5 million dollars in construction costs) and the increase in our long-term debt (54 million dollars in bonds), our financial profile score dropped from a core of 3.90 (Financial Recognition – 2005/06) to a 3.45 (Financial Review – 2006/07). Again, the District is paying for all construction projects from the sale of bonds and not out of its year to year operating funds.  Year to year operating costs reflect the true financial condition of the District.  The District’s overall financial condition is in good standing.


Mrs. Upshaw asked about foreclosures in the District.  Mr. Hampton responded that the District is watching that very carefully. 


Mr. Guastella noted that all filings have been completed. 


Mr. Guastella stated that a new filing system needs to be implemented in the Business Office regarding Accounts Payable.  Mr. Hampton responded that this had been completed.


Mr. Hunigan commended Mr. Hampton and his staff for their work.






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At 7:23 p.m. the meeting adjourned.




__________________________________                ______________________________

Chair, Budget and Finance Committee              Chair, Property Committee