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Coal City school will begin year without use of library

Roof over area requires repairs

COAL CITY — Needing to make immediate repairs to the roof, Coal City Intermediate School will be without its library for the start of the school year.

Jason Smith, director of business services and technology for Coal City Unit School District 1, told the board of education Wednesday a contractor discovered an issue with one of the trusses in the roof above the library.

The district will address the problem either by replacing the truss or fixing it in place, Smith said. The pricetag is uncertain at present, but could amount to about $250,000.

“We hope we can make the repairs well under that,” Smith said.

Because of the immediate nature of the project, the board will likely bypass a formal bidding process.

“We’re going to make sure we move as rapidly as we can on this,” Smith said.

The library’s roof is 50-years old and features a barrel design, which is no longer typical, according to Smith.

It was repaired 20 years ago, but has once again failed, Smith said.

Smith emphasized the importance of making the current repairs permanent and hopes the library will be open by October.

Until then, the district will explore other options to give students the “library experience.”

“Something will be figured out,” Smith said.

“It’s good we found that out now instead of having to deal with it later on,” said Board President Ken Miller.

In other business, the board discussed a proposal by the village of Diamond for the district to partner with the village on a grant to fund the construction of two tornado shelters outside schools.

The proposed shelters would be outside the early childhood center and the middle school.

The board seemed to be against the plan, believing it would be financially unfeasible.

The district would pay $260,000, but Superintendent Kent Bugg believed the project would eventually expand to other district schools, costing what he estimated to be $2 million.

“I think you’re committing to more than just the $260,000,” Bugg said. “You can’t put it in two buildings without putting it in the other buildings.”

Vice President Shawn Hamilton agreed, arguing it could be too much money to commit to the project.

“We’re all about safety,” Hamilton said. “But where are we paying for it from? It’s a lot of money.”

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