Mahomet-Seymour Board approves Middletown Prairie Gymnasium Equipment

The Mahomet-Seymour School Board heard from former District Superintendent and current Building Construction Consultant Rick Johnston Monday night.

Johnston presented two items for approval within the Middletown Prairie Phase II gymnasium.

The Mahomet-Seymour School Board awarded $52,975 to Haldemen and Homme in Peoria for the installation of six electric and adjustable basketball goals, standards, anchors, net and stand for one volleyball court, and wall padding within the gymnasium.

The scope of the project was reduced $9,925 because the district decided to eliminate a center curtain that would divide the room in half when extended.

“As we talked to staff…is that viable, is that something we really need, is that something tied to the educational goals of that space? And the determination of staff was that it wasn’t,” Johnston said.

Johnston said the elimination of the curtain will open up the wall which will hold a mounted LCD screen.

“So instead of off-setting that screen…this way we can center that in the room and make for a much better finish,” he said.

Johnston said that originally, the district looked to install a 12’x12’ retractable screen in the gymnasium. Instead, they are now looking to remove “sconces and wall panels” to make room for a large LCD screen.

“We’ve really worked hard with the internal staff and Wendy, trying to come up with what’s the best solution and the biggest bang for our buck; so the effect of that would be a much larger area for the P.E. teacher to be able to show things or presentations for open house nights.”

Johnston said the cost of the change, “should be less overall. We’re trying to get to a first-class finish in the most appropriate way with flexibility out the back side.”

Johnston said that the curtain did not fit into the current projections of what the space is going to be used for.

When Board Member Merle Giles asked if the space would only include one volleyball court, Johnston said that the addition of another volleyball court, alongside the lines for a basketball court and lines requested by physical education staff, would make the court “so busy that you won’t realize what’s there.”

“Visually it makes it very, very tough,” he continued.

Johnston said if the district decides that it needs additional volleyball courts in the future, the floor can be resurfaced to accommodate the need.

“The thinking is we think we know what that space will be used for, see a need, do we have the ability to upgrade later on?” he said.

Board President Max McComb asked Johnston if the gymnasium would include color or graphics on mats or walls.

Johnston pointed to the blue ceiling, a Mahomet-Seymour logo above the entrance and exit door and Mahomet-Seymour art that will be on the far wall.

The board also awarded $20,800 to Broeren-Russo to install 4-rows of retractable Irwin Bleachers. The bleachers are the same brand that was used in the Mahomet-Seymour High School Auditorium renovation.

At the beginning of the presentation, Johnston showed pictures of the construction process over the last few weeks.

After showing pictures of temporary walls, network wiring, hallways and classroom floor tiles being installed, Board Member Nezar Kassem asked Johnston, “what isn’t going well?”

“What I can share in a public meeting, some of the concrete work, we struggled a little bit there with pace to be upfront, so we had to work through some issues there, some manpower issues,” Johnston said. “You know, we live in a world where when you put people in a competitive model, and crews go out and get a lot of work, then you’ve got to raise your voice when they need more manpower on the job.

“We’ve been in that situation a time or two. So that would be one area.”

“So we’re still on track, though?” Kassem asked.

“We are absolutely on track now,” Johnston said.

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