Full steam ahead on boiler replacementWORTHINGTON - The District 518 Board of Education approved a performance contract with McKinstry for a series of district-wide improvements at a special meeting Thursday.
By: Laura Grevas, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON - The District 518 Board of Education approved a performance contract with McKinstry for a series of district-wide improvements at a special meeting Thursday.
McKinstry will secure design services for the improvements pending finalization of the contract with an attorney, said Bernie Eikmeier, the senior program manager at McKinstry.
The budget for the estimated $1.2- to $1.5-million dollar project grew to nearly $1.9 million after a May 28 meeting, when the board requested upgrades to the single-pane windows in the high school be added to the project scope.
“(Cost estimates) are still on the high end because they haven’t done any solid numbers yet,” explained Superintendent John Landgaard.
Now, planned improvements include boiler replacement in the high school and middle school; replacement or repiping of water heaters; replacement of a district-wide temperature-control system; lighting improvements; the sealing of penetrations in seams along roof lines, windows and doors; and an upgrade to low-flow flush valves in urinals and toilets.
Many of those items are more energy efficient than their current counterparts and should cut costs in the district’s operational budget in the long run — the district will then use those savings to fund the improvements.
Another project component is a “Resource Conservation Management” plan in which McKinstry staff will work with district staff and students to identify savings through energy-efficient practices.
“We consider all impacts of each decision and make the best decision on how energy options are spent. The industry standard has been that we’ve seen 5 to 7 percent additional savings through this process,” said Brent Roemen of McKinstry.
The board also authorized a letter of intent to move forward with two other projects — a roughly $3.4 million expansion to the middle school and about $8.4 million in updates to the high school and middle school ventilation systems — pending approval by the Minnesota Department of Education.
The middle school expansion will include the addition of eight classrooms, and board member Linden Olson questioned what those rooms could be used for if the district’s current spike in enrollment returns to its previous levels.
The rooms would be fairly generic in design, said the McKinstry representatives, and could be used for other district needs, such as community education.
The middle school expansion and ventilation updates would be funded partly through the district’s lease levy, with an estimated taxpayer impact of $95 per year on a $100,000 home for a 15- to 20- year period of time. During the meeting, the board also agreed to apply for QSEB, a state and federal zero-interest loan program that could fund specific parts of those two projects.
Landgaard said the board will seek ways to communicate with the community about all the projects — which total about $13.7 million — “to bring them up to speed for where we’re headed and why we’re doing this.”
In other business Thursday, the board approved the addition of two full-time equivalent paraprofessional positions.