MAC IASB recap
MAC helps inform schools about the benefits of masonry
By Joe Packhem
The Masonry Advisory Council’s (MAC) Gary Porter, and Joe Packhem recently attended the Illinois Association of School Board’s (IASB). This event was the 81st Joint Annual Conference between the IASB, Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO). This was a particularly significant event because of the 100th anniversary of the IASB formed on December 13, 1913. The IASB stresses that each school board and deliberates make history when they make their decisions.
The MAC was present to help put our two cents in to lay a new layer in the IASB history by helping inform the school board officials, administrators, and superintendents about the benefits of masonry as a preferred building material for durable, long-lasting school construction. We also educated the conference attendees with the technical service capabilities of the MAC. While conversing with the school decision makers we kept our ears open for new projects and opportunities. Please refer to the list below for the inside scoop on what I learned.
- Pleasant Hills has a school board member who is also a police officer. I heard that Pleasant Hills has a new jail in the planning.
- Cicero is looking to build a new school.
- Chinoa has some parish work.
- Salem’s district 601 is looking for some tuck pointers.
- Updyke is looking to build a new school.
- Orion is looking to add an addition, and pass a referendum.
- An East Peoria school is having strange entry problems with moisture, and looking for assistance.
- District 167 is looking to build a new school.
- District 151 has a school in Thornton built on a quarry, and is looking for some work.
- Quincy has some upcoming projects, like a new addition.
Those items listed above were the most potent pieces of information that I gathered about construction action in Illinois School Districts. Gary and I had received informational brochures from BDI, ICPA, and IMI which we also distributed to those with plans for construction. The MAC went away from giving away expensive brick sculptures to a single school district, and instead gave away small notebooks with our logo and information on the front. There was also a nice slot where we placed our business cards. We had ½ of 8 ½ x 11” paper pamphlets with the benefits of masonry printed on them. We gave away all 500 notebooks and pamphlets with Masonry Advisory Council information, as well as the majority of information that participating members donated to us for distribution. Gary and I both handed out over 450 business cards each. If someone got a notebook they got the spiel about how the MAC can help them, and the benefits of masonry.
Many people we interacted with were tentative at first, but after listening to our services were very receptive. We heard that Illinois governments are not giving school districts money like in the past making it harder to plan new construction, additions, and renovations. There are still projects going on. Please refer to the list above. We have a number of people who want us to follow up with them, and many more who said they would call us if they ever needed assistance. I recommend that people who read this article follow up with their local school districts, and inquire about upcoming activities. If you find projects that the MAC is unaware of please contact us so we can follow up, and promote masonry as the preferred building material.
The last day, Saturday, was a bit slower because of the extra events relating to the 100th anniversary of IASB. I took advantage of this time to go around and introduce myself to all of the architects and engineers with booths at the conference. The MAC is trying to meet all of the architects, engineers, and contractors working with masonry in this area to introduce ourselves, learn about your organization, and let these companies know that the MAC provides technical services that they can call upon when they have a problem. Please contact us if you would like Gary, and I to come and visit your company to hear about the history and current activities of your company. We will also tell you the ways the MAC can help your company successfully navigate technical difficulties leading to more efficient operations.
Thank you to all those who support our activities, and those who sent information for us to distribute at the conference. This was a great opportunity to meet decision-makers in schools, and talk to school officials who we would not normally have come into contact with.
About the Author
Joe Packhem is the staff engineer at the Masonry Advisory Council.