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Morris High School locker rooms will be renovated

Lockers in the southeast locker room will be replaced during renovations this summer.
Lockers in the southeast locker room will be replaced during renovations this summer.

MORRIS – Morris Community High School District 101’s capital improvement plan focuses on areas of the high school which need improvement.

Next on the list – the school’s locker rooms.

As funding and grant money comes available, the district reviews its plan and focuses on a project to be completed over the summer months when school is not in session.

This year’s plan involves renovating the southeast and southwest locker rooms of the varsity gym, as well as reclaiming a coaches office that was turned into a storage room several years ago.

The pre-bid estimates for construction total $271,000 for the two locker rooms and $14,000 for the coaches office.

The school board Monday approved going out for official bid on multiple summer projects, including the locker room renovations.

“The locker rooms were built in 1949,” Building and Grounds Director Steve Lutz said Thursday. “The only renovations on the southside locker rooms was done 29 years ago in 1985 when they were 36 years old.”

He said the locker rooms are in need of repair, as well as updating to match today’s plumbing codes.

They are used for multiple sports, including baseball, football and basketball, by both home and visiting teams.

The overhaul of the locker rooms would include new fixtures, plumbing, lighting and lockers, as well as refinishing the epoxy floor.

“We’re trying to bring it up to date as much as we can,” Lutz said.

The project will be paid for using designated Tax Increment Finance District funds allocated from the city, which can be used on capital expenditures, as well as the School Maintenance Grant through the Illinois State Board of Education.

“We’ve received a $50,000 grant from the state that can’t be used for an existing project, so we asked for the grant to improve the locker rooms,” Superintendent Pat Halloran said.

The last time the school received this grant they used it to toward lift upgrades, which allow persons with disabilities to gain access to each floor of the school.

Lutz said the benefits, in addition to bringing the room up to code, will include cost savings from updating the heating and ventilation systems to the locker rooms as well as water reduction.

The current shower room is controlled by a button in an adjoining room which turns all of the showers on at one time, regardless of the number of people utilizing them.

“With the new shower system, each shower head will be controlled separately,” Lutz said. “If there is only one person taking a shower, they can turn on one shower head.”

The renovation of the current storage room back to the coaches office it was originally built as will create an office for the female coaches.

“The women coaches currently have to go to the field house to shower and change,” Lutz said. “This will allow them an office with a shower and bathroom to use in the gym where their games and practices take place.”

Lutz said the office also will be utilized by officials during games so they have a place to change.

The renovations will soon go out to bid and are expected to be completed by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

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