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Security among top projects in Sterling schools’ upgrades

School facility plan hits home stretch; work to begin this summer

STERLING – Year 3 of Sterling Public Schools’ 3-year facility plan will commence this summer, and a roundup of projects has been compiled.

The projects will be paid for by bond money from a $21.5 million package established in 2017.

Vestibule systems to enhance security are in the works for district’s elementary schools, as well as Challand Middle School.

Adding a second set of double doors to Challand, and to Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington schools, will increase awareness of who is in the buildings at any given time, school officials say.

A vestibule was built 2 years ago at the district office, and Sterling High School has had one for a few years. 

“We’ve been working on school safety and security, trying to get our schools in a position that they are better prepared for the unfortunate event when students and staff are placed at risk,” Superintendent Tad Everett said.

Challand’s lobby will be worked on first, as the way it is constructed presents the most security challenges among the remaining schools without vestibules. 

“We’re going to be remodeling the office to create line of sight, and a double-door security system,” Everett said. “Visitors will have to come in, check in, and not get to the rest of the building without having a security check. That is a huge point of emphasis for school safety.”

Vestibule plans for the four elementary schools will be done one school at a time, each year, starting in 2020, Everett said.

The Challand work will be done in the summer. Also planned are various repairs at Homer Musgrove Fieldhouse and Roscoe Eades Stadium at the high school; cafeteria door replacements at Challand; gym door work at Jefferson, Lincoln and Washington, and siding replacement at portable classroom structures at Lincoln and Washington. 

Bids for that project package, as well as one for additional parking spaces at Franklin, went out Monday, and are due March 19; the Sterling School Board will act on low bids at its April 1 meeting.

At its monthly meeting Wednesday, the board approved bids for roof work at three schools, and masonry work at the high school.

HC Anderson Roofing of Rockton will be doing roof work this summer at Lincoln, Challand and the high school for $628,990. When this work is done, all of the district’s roofs will be under warranty, which wasn’t the case more than a decade ago.

“That, for us, and our community, is a real good thing,” Everett said.

Mike Harris Masonry of Rockford will be tuck-pointing – repairing bricks and mortar – throughout the outside of the high school for $697,100. 

Sterling Schools Director of Finance Tim Schwingle said that work will begin this summer, but may not be completed before the start of the school year. If not, the project could be put on hold until the following summer.

Work would begin at the original wing of the school along Fourth Avenue, built in 1950, and move around the campus. Additions to the school were made in 1951, 1963, 1976 and 1998.

“There’s a lot of it that going to be done,” Schwingle said. “It’s a needed repair.”


The March 20 Sterling School Board meeting has been cancelled due to an anticipated lack of a quorum.

The board next meets at 12:30 p.m. April 1 in the large conference room at the Sterling High School Library, 1608 Fourth Ave.

Go to of the district office, or call 815-626-5050 for an agenda or more information.

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