Board adds air conditioning to new school project

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 6/21/00.

Digging at school The Paynesville Area School Board eliminated several items from the building project in order to fund air conditioning, a $75,000 alternative. The board approved the changes at its meeting on Tuesday, June 13.

The board has always wanted to include air conditioning as part of the project. They want people to be comfortable when using the auditorium and fitness center.

At the board's direction, Kevin Becker, construction manager, and Troy Miller, project architect, prepared a list of cost saving items. The board approved cutting seven items, saving $21,000. Omitted items were display cases and projection screens; seeding the lawn instead of sodding; removing mirrored glass from the fitness center walls; installing metal partitions in the bathrooms instead of plastic; and using plywood on the stage floor instead of pine.

The board felt the wood didn't matter as the stage floor will be painted black. The display cases, projection screens, and mirrors could be added later.

The $21,000 from these changes will be placed in the air conditioning fund. Additional funds will come from interest income and from the capital expenditure account.

Miller reminded the board that it is a bare bones project. "We did not start out with a lot of extra detailing," he said. "The auditorium has a nice sound system and stage rigging." The district has also received a $20,000 donation to help cover the expense of the sound system.

At the May meeting, the board discussed eliminating the brick pattern, elevator shaft, and fitness center equipment to save money for air conditioning. However, on Tuesday, the board decided to keep these items and pay for air conditioning in other ways.

Pat Flanders, board chairman, received several calls about keeping the brick pattern and fitness center equipment. "The public doesn't want us to do something we will regret later," he added.

Becker informed the board that eliminating the elevator shaft would save the district more than $20,000.

However, the elevator shaft would cost two to three times more if added later.

Miller was told by the Department of Families, Children, and Learning that the elevator shaft could be funded under a separate levy involving the American Disabilities Act. The district has a $300,000 cap which they have never used. The board approved utilizing the one-year levy to help cover the cost of the elevator shaft.

Superintendent Howard Caldwell reminded the board they have $75,000 set aside to purchase equipment for the fitness center. He suggested that money could be used to fund the air conditioning.

"The voters would be ticked off if we have an auditorium and a cold empty room for a fitness center," Glenz told Caldwell. "We (the board) spent a lot of time encouraging voters to approve the center and auditorium as a package."

Project update
Becker told the board the dirt work has been completed at the site. Minimal soil corrections were required, leaving $55,000 in the contingency fund. "We feel the contingency fund is in good shape," Becker said.

Becker informed the board that the tennis courts are about 90 percent complete. The recent rains proved the water will drain off the courts, he added. The tennis court project is behind schedule and the courts won't be ready to use until mid-July.

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