The building that houses the Fox River Consortium alternative high school on Wainwright Avenue will become the new of administrative offices for the Burlington Area School District under a plan approved by the School Board Monday. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Swap could cost as much as $1.5 million, officials estimate

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Burlington Area School District advanced plans to relocate its district office to the district-owned building at 209 Wainwright Avenue following approval from the School Board Monday.

The building is adjacent to Karcher Middle School and is currently used as an alternative high school known as the Fox River Consortium. That service will move into Lincoln School once renovations to both buildings are made, officials said.

The swap could cost the district as much as $1.5 million, but officials said they are confident that total can be trimmed.

The board, which has discussed the matter for several years, decided to move forward with the plan because the Lincoln School building on Kane Street built in 1857 no longer serves the district’s needs as an office setting.

Board member Barry Schmaling, Chairman of the Buildings, Grounds and Transportation committee, said the move fulfills the district’s long-term needs.

“I think it has been a long-time coming, the existing building has served its purpose,” said Schmaling, whose committee met on Jan. 25 to further review the project and make recommendations to the School Board.

The board, meanwhile, made the decision based on a motion to move forward with relocating administrative offices using Scherrer Construction for design and architectural fees at a project cost not-to-exceed $1.5 million.

The district plans to use funds available from the referendum approved in November 2018, which according to officials, comes in around $1,051,281 as of Feb. 8.

The district also has $350,000 in unused referendum contingencies.

The School Board considered two budget options, one with value engineering, and the other without the cost-effective method.

The budgeted amount for value engineering, according to officials, was estimated at $1,086,789 while the alternative had a projected cost of $1,461,206.

But, according to Superintendent Stephen Plank, most of the referendum projects have come in under budget.

To read the full version of this story see the Feb. 11 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.