Board approves more money for lot paving

by Laura Bednar

June 30 board of education special meeting

The $295,925 paving project that the Independence Local Schools Board of Education approved in April will require more funding after finding issues with the lot’s subbase.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Dreiling said All Ways Construction performed a proof roll in June, which tests the response of the pavement’s subgrade to vehicle-type loads by driving a vehicle over the area. The sub-base along Selig Drive in front of Independence High School was found not to be firm enough.
According to the change order, “Due to the high unit price for subgrade remediation, [architect] GPD recommended an alternative approach.”

The contractor will cut 6 inches deeper in the area and add a Geogrid, or geosynthetic material used to reinforce soils and other materials. According to, “Geogrids provide reinforcement, stabilization, and even filtration.”

The Geogrid will be placed on the existing sub-base then pavement will be added on top.

Dreiling said the contractor was unaware of the sub-base issue until construction started. The total to install the Geogrid and remedy the subbase is $93,100 in addition to the previously approved $295,925. An allowance in the contract covers items not specified at the time the bid was made. A $25,000 allowance will be used for the Geogrid, leaving the school to pay an additional $68,100.

“I am more disheartened from the idea of what lies underneath our pavement in the other areas we’re going to have to do,” Dreiling said.

He added that the contactor said it is rare to find a sub-base as bad as the one at the high school. More core samples will be taken in the future to analyze other paved areas, according to Dreiling.

Pay to play

Board members approved pay-to-participate fees for art club at the primary school, primary school intramurals, wrestling club in grades K-4, middle school activities and band. Superintendent Ben Hegedish said the district’s “pay-to-play” fees are comparatively lower than other districts.

Board member Carrie Sears suggested raising pay-to-play fees in order to eliminate ticket fees for students at home sporting events. She explained that the increased fees would offset the loss from ticket sales.

“For some families, this is what they can afford,” said board member Joan Mencl in response to raising pay-to-play fees.

Hegedish said in the past, the district sold discounted and family tickets for home sporting events. Board members agreed to address the issue at a future meeting.

In other action, the board approved a contract with New Story Schools, a local special education school that offers academic learning and behavioral support, according to its website. The contract covers the cost of services for one Independence student in need of the school’s services at $7,700 per month, not to exceed $77,000 per year for the 2022-23 school year. ∞