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Frazee school board authorizes $180,000 in building repairs

With the cost of the H-VAC and sprinkler systems at Frazee-Vergas Schools coming in much lower than expected, due to the economy, the district has enough extra levied funds to do a few more repairs to the buildings.

Pat Barribeau of McKinstry, the company that took care of the original repairs to the buildings, told school board members Monday evening that there are six options the district might want to consider with the extra funds.

"Bidding has been pretty aggressive," he said of the extra dollars.

The six items Barribeau suggested will total about $180,000. The board can pick and chose which it wants done, and plans to wait until next month to make any decisions.

The six items include:

n Courtyard windows and door in the elementary school. The existing wall is very thin, and the single pane windows are very leaky, he said. The cost would be $31,000.

While Barribeau said the contractor could have the work done over Christmas break, the board decided it had to wait until spring because another contractor would have to come in and take care of the asbestos in the wall.

- Air units in the high school wrestling and weight room are faulty. Cost to replace them would be $55,000-$56,000.

"They are pricy to replace because they are over stairwells," he said of the extra labor.

The rooms are not used often, he said, but the vents are a "maintenance nightmare."

The vents basically provide fresh air to the rooms, but the existing ones leak when shut, causing cold air to come in and kick the vent off when it is turned on.

Board member Steve Jepson, who helps with wrestling, said the rooms are actually used often during wrestling season, and some in the off-season for golf and other activities.

- Replacing the pneumatic thermostats to digital in a portion of the high school is estimated at $74,000.

Barribeau explained that the benefit to doing this switch would be to control the heating and cooling of a room rather than having people crank on the pneumatic thermostats, causing them to throw off the calibration of the systems. "It will be an energy savings," he added. "It's expensive but well worth a thought."

Board member Dwight Cook said he liked the idea of having the entire building under control digitally.

- Replacing the elementary school locker room exhaust fan will cost $2,300. Barribeau said, with several heads nodding in agreement, there have been several complaints of a bad smell in the locker room, and this will take care of that.

When the elementary school was switched over to digital controls, the Tamarac gym was not. The cost to switch that over and the girls' locker room would be $6,400.

The elementary administration and break room areas also have control issues, and this would add them to the digital system.

Barribeau said the cost is estimated at $10,583, but, "I don't think that's correct. It should be less," he added.

He advised the board not to approve that until he could do more legwork and get a lower price.

The board will vote on the matters at the January board meeting.

Also tabled until the next meeting, Dec. 28, is the approval of resolution directing administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions and the reasons behind it. It was tabled due to wording issues.

At the Monday night meeting, the board also recognized Mary Olson, English, and Jolene Tappe, third grade, as Teachers of the Year for the district, and recognized Mary Holsen for her years as custodian at the school. She retired after nine years.