February Board of Education COW meeting provides construction, legislative updates


B. Turk

By Braden Turk

The Board of Education Committee of the Whole meeting started last night with recognition of Heineman Middle School’s Snow Hawks team, a skiing/snowboarding club largely run by students. Zoe Bishop, Noah Jensen, Ashley Phommasack, Jared Sztukowski, and Logan Young were present to represent the team.

“[This] is super student-led,” Principal Jake Litchfield said when introducing the group. “All the way from the logo to loading the equipment on the bus.”

Following that, the board moved onto its regular business. The first noteworthy item was a policy change regarding drug testing for prospective hires. Before, if a test was flagged, the candidate’s application was supposedly rejected. With the recent legalization of marijuana in Illinois, however, those applying for a job will now be asked for an explanation if their test returns positive.

A quick update was given on the status of the solar panels at the Harmony and Square Barn Road campuses. As Huntley High School students have noticed, construction of the panels is moving along steadily, with a projected completion date of mid-to-late April. The Square Barn campus is expected to have its panels finished earlier at the end of March.

Next, several proposals were given to the board by Operations and Maintenance Director Doug Renkosik. The majority of these were related to HHS’ fine arts wing expansion, including a bid for the black box theater’s A/V system of $105,000. While most were accepted, Board President Michael Fleck expressed concern with the bids for the theater’s stage curtains and electricity. 

“I would feel better if we had a little more information,” Fleck said. “This is a great project, [but] those numbers are creeping up there.”

A decision will be made at a later board meeting.

As of Jan. 28, the theater and set shop additions are enclosed and receiving temporary heating.