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Prairie Heights looking at upcoming building projects

The Prairie Heights School Board heard a report on potential upcoming building projects through 2018 that will focus on roofs and air handling systems.

The idea presented is to “manage the projects against the levy and debt service,” Superintendent Alan Middleton told the board. The projects presented are to improve efficiencies within the buildings and “will go a long way toward the maintenance of our buildings.”

Scott Hull from the architectural firm of Barton-Coe-Vilamaa showed the board the current ages of the roofs on the buildings and which ones have already fallen out of warranty. He pointed out that the metal roofs in a few locations are not an issue, even though the warranties have expired on those as well.

Heating and cooling systems in the buildings was also discussed, with the mechanical work suggested first prior to roofing. The mechanical work would bring the high school up to date, the board was told, with new software and would eliminate the old pneumatic controls. The system could also be controlled remotely via computer.

Middleton told the board that a lot of work had already been done over the past few years, which will help keep the mechanical work cost down.

The board was presented with two options on the timing of the projects, with one a seven-year plan and the other a six-year plan. Each year would see specific mechanical and/or roofing work done, starting with heating and cooling work at the high school, along with roofing work at that building. The elementary/middle school work would begin the second year. The annual costs depend on the option selected, seven or six years, but average around $1.8 to $1.9 million per year. Under option 1, the first year is estimated to cost $650,000 as it would be only the heating and cooling work at the high school.

In other business:

The board discussed the Class of 2014 graduation date. Currently, June 2 is the projected last day of classes, the board was told, with graduation planned for the following Sunday, June 8.

It was noted that although the school has not had any snow days so far, if there are more than five that could take the last student day into the following week, after the planned graduation. The following Sunday, June 15, is Fathers Day and the school would like to avoid graduation on that day, the board was told.

It was discussed that should the district see more than five snow days after the first of the year, the district should consider having graduation on Friday, June 13.

No decision will be made until March, when the district will know how many snow days there have been.