At the Monday, October 21 meeting, the R-P School Board reviewed a proposal for HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system preventative maintenance. In attendance to explain the details was Paul Kruckow, sales engineer for Winona Heating & Ventilating, Inc.
“We do have a great deal of dollars invested in our system and we need to make sure it is running efficiently and will last as long as possible,” noted by Superintendent Jon Thompson in the board documents.
The extent of equipment covered by the contract includes 15 York rooftop units, one air handling unit, one Xetex rooftop unit, one make up air unit, three boilers/pumps, one chiller/pump, one pump skid/glycol feed system, two heating system circulation pumps, three mini-split systems, two fan coil units, four heaters, 11 cabinet unit heaters, and 35 exhaust fans. “4-Unit Heaters 11-Cabinet Unit Heaters 35-Exhaust Fans. For reference, Thompson added that just one of the many air handling units on our roof costs $18,000.
“My recommendation is that we move forward with this agreement as it seems to be a good investment in our facility.” The contract would be funded via long-term facility maintenance rather than through the General Fund. The proposed cost is $17,760. The board approved the contract unanimously.
Also reviewed was a recommendation by the Facilities Committee for 2019-2020 snow removal. The board reviewed two bids presented to the committee, opting for a mix of the two, as well as approving Thompson to seek additional items. The first was from Hammel Equipment and provided for the rental of a skid steer and tooling at a cost of $5,000. Operational labor would be hired independently by the district and was estimated to be an additional $1,500. The district contracted with Hammel the previous year, but Thompson noted the district struggled with sanding capabilities and coverage.
“Sanding is crucial. The current mechanism is unsafe,” he added. “Last year, it left us short on sanding.” Thompson suggested the district look into the purchase of an industrial sander and possibly a tractor option stating estimates could be ready by the November meeting.
The second bid was from Todd Atkinson at a rate of $90 per hour with labor provided. Also detailed was an on-call option per weather event for sanding and salting for $200 and pre-snow chemical treatment. “This ended up costing far more,” continued Thompson. The board ultimately voted unanimously to contract with Hammel Equipment, but work with Atkinson on sanding on a per event basis.
In other news, Thompson had news to report regarding ongoing leaks in the building. “We have a lot of good things to talk about the leaks we had. There’s been some leaks in new building since day one. They’re hard to pinpoint; different types of rain, direction of rain, leaks one day and not the next. It’s hard to identify these, but the effort has absolutely been there.”
While some leaks have been persistent, the district has worked with Interstate Roofing on addressing the problem areas. They’ve been identified largely as those around large air handling areas on gymnasium roof and pick point areas around equipment.
“On the edge of equipment, there’s two points come together with rubber gasket. There’s a lot of them on there,” explained Thompson. “Some have caps, some have caulking, some we couldn’t tell if they have caulking, but they seemed loose. We’re pretty confident it’s the issue.” He went on to note the issue over the gymnasium is largely panels and duct tape and plastic have mitigated the issue some until they can be addressed.
“The general contractor will provide caps, gaskets, and work with Winona Controls for labor to make sure it’s done right, but we need to hold the general contractor accountable,” concluded Thompson.
Another lingering item brought up by Thompson revolved around what to do with the countless trophies from the years since Rushford and Peterson School Districts consolidated in the ‘90s, still awaiting a new home since construction of the new facility. “R-P has a fine tradition of fine arts and sports and there’s a lot of trophies sitting in buildings, more than we have storage for,” said Thompson. “Emotions become involved and we have to be respectful of that.”
It was recommended to the board that the trophies be removed from the former buildings and an exhaustive inventory be taken, possibly by students for community service. Significant trophies, likely first or second place, sectional, regional, and state, would be photographed and made available on the school website for digital viewing. “It’s my hope going forward, if someone wants to look at that team trophy they were a part of, they could look at it,” added Thompson.”
Lesser trophies would placed online through school website for silent auction. “Everyone has a chance at that trophy,” he continued. “They get the trophy, but they’re also donating towards the kids that are in that program.” All auction proceeds would go directly to R-P activities. Those not purchased in auction would be retired, a word Thompson noted meant disposal. A review committee would be formed to look at trophies annually and repeat process when needed. It was estimated it would take a month or two to complete the inventory and auction.
“I was surprised, some of the schools that have these auctions, there wasn’t a lot of interest in them. When we talked about this a year and a half ago, there seemed to be a lot of interest,” added Board Chairman John Linder. “Storage doesn’t really make sense.” The board acknowledged moving forward with the recommendation. Any auction will be publicized in local papers as well as on the school website.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, November 18, at 5:30 p.m., in the forum room. A special board meeting is slated for Monday, November 4. The public is encouraged to attend.