Central School District 104 plans to remodel a building it owns on St. Ellen Mine Road. The building is occupied by the Illinois Central School Bus offices.
Superintendent John Bute said the plan is to build a new office area on the other end of the building.
However, asbestos abatement will have to be done before remodeling work can begin. Asbestos was found in the glue used to put the floor tile in place, Bute said.
He didn’t know the exact age of the building, but he estimated it was at least 40 or 50 years old.
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The asbestos abatement work begins this week, he said. It will be completed by Collinsville-based Environmental Consultants LLC. Bute estimated the asbestos work will cost about $5,000.
Bids were expected Tuesday on the remodeling and construction work. Bute said he didn’t have an estimate on how much the renovations will cost.
The building was in desperate need of a renovation, Bute said. “It’s not in great condition,” he said of the building. “The office area was not up to standards that I would consider to be a quality work environment.”
The building was previously owned by First Student Bus Co. The company donated it to District 104 in November 2014. Bute said the district knew the building will need some work.
It just wasn’t a great work place for those people. We needed to make some upgrades.
John Bute, superintendent of Central District 104
“We knew we would make some adjustments,” he said. “We decided to change things around and make it more presentable and nicer.”
Illinois Central provides busing for students in District 104, O’Fallon District 203, O’Fallon District 90 and Shiloh District 85 out of its O’Fallon office. About 100 people work out of the office, according to Illinois Central.
“It just wasn’t a great work place for those people,” Bute said. “We needed to make some upgrades.”
The south end of the building will be expanded to accommodate a new office area with an entrance off Joseph Arthur Middle School Drive.
The current office on the north end of the building will be turned into storage, Bute said.
The three work bays, where maintenance is done on school buses, will also be updated with better lighting.
Renovation work will also involve new siding, insulation, a new roof and lighting.
Office employees at Illinois Central in O’Fallon were relocated to District 104 offices on Friday, Bute said. The mechanics who work in the bays will continue to do so during the renovation.
Illinois Central held an informational meeting for its employees on Jan. 28.
“We are very excited about the renovations,” said Kelley Shore, contract manager with Illinois Central.
The renovation project is estimated to take about six months with completion expected by the beginning of August. “It will be great if its done sooner,” Bute said.
District 104 school board may vote on accepting or rejecting the bids for the project at it’s meeting on Feb. 8. If a bid is accepted, Bute said, work could start as early as Feb. 15.
District 104 has already renovated the bus parking lot. Bute said there was standing water on the lot when they acquired the building, which caused mosquito problems for nearby residents.