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Fieldcrest Old Gymn Wall Needs Immediate Repair

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - Posted 8:22:33 PM
Fieldcrest Board of Education members learned Wednesday night that the north wall of the old gymnasium building at Fieldcrest High School needs immediate repair.  Farnsworth engineer John Bishop told the board members the brick wall on the north side of the old gymnasium building is starting to move and is in danger of falling.  

Mr. Bishop said there was no vertical reinforcement put in the wall when it was rebuilt in 1975 during construction of the new gymnasium and remodeling of the old gymnasium.  He said the wall should be stable in the short term but he said with the southerly winds in the summer, it could create a negative pressure on the north wall which could cause it to collapse.

Mr. Bishop said the solution is to  take the wall down and rebuild it starting with excavating down to the footing and rebuild a small section at a time.  He said the roof would remain in place if the wall did happen to give way.  He said the wall would fall out, not in, if it happened to collapse.

Superintendent Dr. Dan Oakley said he will start an emergency process to get the project going so work can begin this summer when school is not in session. Some of the class rooms and offices will have to be vacated during the construction.  The Farnsworth engineers said it will cost several hundred thousand dollars to repair the wall.

In other business, the board approved a reduction in work force including 3 teaching assistants.  Dr. Oakley said some of the reductions are temporary and may require rehiring once more is known on attendance and special education needs for next year.

The board approved an agreement with Illinois Central College which will allow Fieldcrest to be part of a program in which Fieldcrest students who need financial assistance for college can apply for a reduced tuition rate at the college.

Dr. Oakley said test results from last year have not yet been reported to the school even though this year's test are ready to be taken next month.  It appears the State of Illinois has not hired anyone to grade the results, perhaps due to financial constraints.  Dr. Oakley said any test results that are more than 6 months old are worthless.

Dr.  Oakley said there will be a mixer on May 25th in which students can visit their new class rooms and teacher for next year's attendance centers.