Students in Greencastle High School do not need the current cold snap to remind them that their classrooms are cold.
The lack of air comfort in the school has long been an issue, and the Greencastle School Board on Monday took action to correct the environmental and air quality issues in the building.
The board conducted a required 1028 hearing on a high school renovation project. No members of the public appeared to comment.
The board is looking at a project estimated at $1.5 million in construction costs to replace windows in the high school, doors in McAnally Center, and upgrade the heating and cooling systems in the buildings.
"It will improve the quality of learning by improving the environment and the air comfort," Supt. Robert Green told board members Jack Berry, Mark Kannowski, Monica Fennell and Mike Dean.
The current architectural drawings by Fanning/Howey Associates show many of the windows in the high school being replaced and some window spaces becoming walls, similar to the windows and walls at Ridpath Primary School. The current window systems are inefficient and allow cold air into the classrooms, much to student and teacher discomfort.
The proposed schedule for the project calls for the bid documents to be released in mid-February and bids to be received in early March with contracts to be awarded later in March.
Construction is to commence around May 19 with the bulk of the work starting with summer break. Early completion is set around mid-August.
While the project plans have a long list of work to be done, some work is being bid as alternates that will be included if financially feasible. Some of the work may also be delayed to be done in phases.
The project plans include:
-- Replacement of all exterior hollow metal doors and frames at McAnally Center.
-- Replacing all exterior doors to classrooms in the high school multi-purpose room. The main pair of doors at the south end of the room will be replaced and second pair of doors will be added to create a new vestibule. Two pairs of doors will be replaced at the north end of the multi-purpose room.
-- Repairs to or replacement of the walls around the cafeteria greenhouse addition.
-- Replacement of all windows in the original 1958 building.
-- New floor finishes, painted walls, and a new suspended ceiling in the high school family consumer science classroom.
-- New floor finishes, painted walls and a new suspended ceiling in the multi-purpose classrooms.
-- Replacement of unit ventilators in 27 existing classrooms, and upgrades to the heating systems and the cooling systems.
-- Improvements to temperature controls, air handling and conditioning in the high school, McAnally Center, woodshop, cafeteria, computer lab and multi-purpose rooms.
In recent meetings, the board has heard from financial consultant Lonnie Thurber that the timing is right for the project, considering that the debt on other building projects will be retired in time for the new project to kick in on the tax rolls. That should make this project tax-rate neutral in adding no new property taxes for the school district.
In associated business, the board approved the members of the GHS building corporation as Dennis Weatherford, Janis Price, Cindy Cross, Tim Gierke and Don Mundy. The building corporation is the financial entity set up as the fiscal agent for the project.
A public hearing on the lease for the project will occur during the board's regular March 14 meeting, set for 7:30 p.m. in the Miller Education Center, 522 Anderson St.
That session is open to the public.