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Crete-Monee School District has been hard at work over the summer, renovating several buildings for the next phases of their ‘Short-Term Facility Improvement Plan’.

The plan is rolled out in stages, covering overhaul of electrical systems and ductwork the first year, followed by installation of new cooling and heating systems the second year.

“Balmoral Elementary is in year one of our plan, which is replacing all of the water pipes, upgrading the electrical systems and prepping it for when we put air conditioning in the second year,” Assistant Superintendent of Business & Operations, Kenneth Surma said.

One of the oldest buildings in the district, Crete Elementary will need the most amount of attention during the renovation period.

“All the water pipes are being replaced, bathrooms are being redone, touch-less motion detectors, brand new bottle filler water stations, new fire suppression system, a lot of electrical prep work with new circuit breakers, so it has the capacity to hold the new HVAC system,” Mr. Surma said.

He added that a staircase was also being replaced in the East end of the building, along with the installation of an elevator, to ensure ADA compliance and access for individuals with disabilities.

The Coretta Scott King Magnet School also received a lot of work over the summer.

“They are in the process of getting an upgrade of their water pipes, new bathrooms, new ceiling with new led lighting, new offices with permanent walls along with upgrades to electrical, preparing for HVAC next year,” Mr. Surma said.

The Early Learning Center, which is home to both students and the administrative staff for the district, saw major renovation the past two years.

“We’re in year two of our plan. All the fixtures and all the bathrooms were all redone last year, replaced all the pipes, replaced all the fixtures. Year two, now we’re looking at the HVAC systems, the new piping that is very similar to a radiator, where the cold and hot water will come in through the ‘Univent’, and there’s a fan that will blow out air,” Mr. Surma said.

Mr. Surma is especially happy with a new enclosed AstroTurf outdoor playground, which he says will be safer for students, and entirely maintenance free.

“We have four different areas that the kids can play in. It’s a rubberized surface so you don’t have to worry about falls, and everything is ADA compliant so even kids in wheelchairs can now come out here and enjoy it.”

Talala Elementary in Park Forest is in year two of the improvement plan, and is also in the process of getting improved heating and cooling systems installed.

“Right now, all of the HVAC systems are being changed so there’s air conditioning in this building. The brand new ‘Univents’ works on chilled water for air conditioning and also hot water for heat. These units are a lot quieter than regular air conditioning. It’s also more efficient because you’re using water to heat instead of straight electricity,” Mr. Suma said.

To read more about the improvement plan for the CM201-U school district buildings, visit:

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