Lockport Township school board approves $3.5M construction bid, says central campus will reopen in August

The Lockport Township High School District Board of Education approved a contract with a local construction company to finish the ceiling replacement at the central campus. 

The board voted on two items at the meeting on Monday night: a contractor bid and a motion to allow the administration to take action on necessary infrastructure improvements. 

The school board approved a contract bid of $3,453,776 with Berglund Construction Company for phase two of the ceiling replacement project. The district received three bids last week, and the board unanimously approved the lowest one. Kandu Construction bid $4.7 million while Reed Construction placed a bid of $3.7 million. 

The project is expected to be finished this summer and the district plans to reopen central campus on Aug. 19 for the 2024-25 school year. 

During an open house on May 13, architects, financial planners, and board members engaged in discussions aimed at ensuring the safety of the central campus. The dialogue was underscored by the recent rejection, in March, of an $85 million referendum for repairs and renovations by residents.

In response to community feedback, the school board is now exploring alternative funding avenues, considering a multi-million dollar life safety bond that would not require taxpayer approval.

The spotlight on the school's infrastructure comes after a significant incident six months ago when a ceiling collapsed inside a classroom at the high school's central campus. Consequently, the century-old building was shuttered, necessitating the relocation of approximately 1,000 freshman students to Lincoln Way North in Frankfort. For many, the commute has proven burdensome.