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Wolf Creek Local to seek bids on HVAC systems

WATERFORD – The building improvement plan set in motion by Wolf Creek Local Schools last year has become detailed enough to start seeking bids this winter, the board of education was told at its regular monthly meeting Monday night in the Waterford High School library.

Lance DeBenedictus of Xpert Engineering, a Columbus firm, told the board that his assessment of the project, which primarily involves retrofitting the elementary and high school buildings with new HVAC systems, has reached the stage where price estimates can be sought.

“I’ve investigated the buildings, the utilities, and made a plan for mechanical modifications to the buildings,” he said. “The next path would be to put it out to bid.”

DeBenedictus said the boiler and chiller systems he has in mind would provide a significant leap in energy efficiency.

“It’s an energy project and a maintenance upgrade. It’s a high efficiency boiler and chiller system, with direct digital controls,” he said. “It will give you a lot of energy savings, and it’s nothing over the top, just very durable and long-lasting equipment.”

Superintendent Doug Baldwin said the high school building consists of a number of additions built at varying times that have undergone piecemeal renovations over the years. The elementary school is a newer building, but neither has central air conditioning. Cooling is done by room air conditioners, many of which are reaching the end of their service life.

“We’ve been putting money into the permanent improvement fund, so there’s no levy, no plan to ask the taxpayers for anything,” he said. “Probably in December or January, we’ll put it out to bid.”

Baldwin said he was reluctant to estimate the overall cost of the project until the bids come in.

In other matters, the board:

¯ Received a report from the band boosters on the new band trailer, which replaced the aging band truck. The trailer was purchased with donations, money from fundraisers, and sponsorships.

¯ Approved a district policy on the use of unmanned small aircraft – drones – in keeping with recommendations from state authorities, along with other board bylaw revisions that were characterized as minor language adjustments.

¯ Approved five substitutes and a dozen contracts with athletic coaches, half of which were volunteers.

The meeting was attended by 18 students who were there to meet the requirements of their government course.

The next scheduled meeting for the board is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the high school band room.

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