Building and Grounds

The faculty and administration are very proud of the facilities that the community has so graciously provided for School District 106. The District consists of Highlands Elementary School, Highlands Middle School and Administration center. The buildings are all attached and combine for about 160,000 square feet.

The support personnel that work for District 106 are equally as proud of our facilities, and we take our responsibilities for maintaining the facilities very seriously. Many of the projects and issues that the maintenance staff deals with daily are behind the scenes to the students and staff. However, much of this work is vital to the success of our schools.

For example, every summer, all 6 of our boilers are cleaned and prepared for the following heating season. We also spend a great deal of time maintaining our exhaust fans, univents, air handlers, pumps, and chillers, etc. Most of this equipment is out of sight and yet its consistent maintenance is critical to ensure we provide a clean, safe environment for our staff and students.

Continuing with this theme, one of the most important aspects of my job is ensuring all the inspections and reports required by the state are performed and completed. We are bound by law to have numerous inspections continuously. This list is quite exhaustive, but I think it is important to list some of them required by the state of Illinois.

  • Every year the bleachers are required to be inspected thoroughly by an architect or licensed inspector.
  • Our insurance carrier inspects the boilers every year. In addition to this, the State Fire Marshall meticulously inspects the boilers every other year.
  • A trained professional inspects our elevator every month and twice a year an inspection certificate is issued by Cook County.
  • The fire alarm system is monitored continuously 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each year a professional inspection team performs a comprehensive inspection to ensure all devises are working properly. The same holds true of our fire suppression sprinkler system.
  • The Cook County Regional Office of Education annually inspects our entire building and operation. They check many items such as fire extinguisher tags, exit and emergency light placement and function, eye wash stations in science rooms and safety issues in the gyms, science labs, boiler rooms, storage rooms, classrooms, etc.
  • Our insurance carrier annually conducts an inspection of our buildings as well, making recommendations relating to safety, training and building maintenance practices.
  • All of our exits signs, emergency lights, and fire extinguishers are also inspected periodically to ensure they are all functioning properly in case of an emergency.
  • We are required by law to have backflow preventers on all sprinkler systems and water systems in which chemicals are used to treat the water system. This is to ensure that it is impossible to have a cross contamination between the community water and our treated water systems. A licensed plumber inspects these backflow preventers each year.

As you can see, we spend a great deal of time here at District 106 making sure that our schools are a safe place for our students and staff. We want our community to know that we are doing the best we can to make sure their kids are safe at school and have a healthy, comfortable environment where learning is maximized.

More Information about the Buildings and Grounds Department

1. DOORS All entrance doors are kept locked during the day. Visitors need to use the main entrances at the Elementary school, Middle school or Administration center to access the buildings. All visitors will need to be "buzzed in" and then will be asked to sign in at an office to gain access to the school buildings.

2. CHEMICALS A. The Illinois Toxic Substance Act prevents the use of chemicals in a school building without proper training about the use of Material Safety Data Sheets. The law requires that the school district maintains an accurate database of all chemicals in use, and declare them to the local fire departments and the Illinois Department of Labor. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for custodial products are available in school offices.

3. PESTICIDE APPLICATION REGISTRY School District 106 has an Integrated Pest Management Program. Our Integrated Pest Management Program combines preventative techniques, non-chemical pest control methods and appropriate use of pesticides. We only use pesticides as an absolute last resort. We never spray when children are in school, and if and when we do use a pesticide, it is typically applied very early Saturday and Sunday morning when no children are present. The term pesticide includes insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and fungicides. Typically, we use the same pesticides as used at home, weed killer for weeds and an herbicide on the grass to control the dandelions in the spring.

If you wish to be notified prior to an application to the grounds, please contact the district office for an application registry notice form. School District #106 employs the professional services of a licensed contractor for all applications.

4. ASBESTOS SAFETY Schools are bound by law to have a comprehensive asbestos management plan for each of its buildings. Every six months, we inspect every area that contains asbestos and report on its condition. Every three years, a licensed inspector does an exhaustive inspection. A copy of his written report is sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Asbestos management plans are available in school offices.

5. DRILLS Schools are required by the State to hold fire and tornado drills each year. A fire drill is signaled by a distinct alarm sound or an announcement over the public address system. Upon hearing this signal, everyone is to evacuate the building promptly in accordance with the prearranged plan.

Tornado drills will be announced over the intercom. Students will assemble in the prearranged areas under direction of their teacher.

Kent Hoefling
Director of Building and Grounds
Office: 708-485-3196

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