By Naomi Hatch
For several years Snowflake Junior High School students have not had good heat in the gym, which also serves as their lunchroom, but that’s about to change.
The district has received emergency funding from the School Facilities Board (SFB) to repair the heating and cooling units on the SJHS gymnasium.
In September, the Snowflake School District submitted a grant to the SFB proposing a new air conditioning system to replace the swamp coolers on the roof of the gym, Business Manager Mark Ollerton governing board members at their April 11 meeting.
Both heaters failed and the evaporative coolers are starting to show their age, requiring extra work to keep them running.
Ollerton reported that Midstate Mechanical’s bid through the Mohave contract for replacement of the gas units and refurbishing of the existing evaporative coolers was $47,062, but it was felt that because of the condition of the evaporative coolers, it would be better for the district to add $2,410 to purchase a 12.5-ton gas pack Trane unit.
The funding is here, said Ollerton, noting that they will have to supplement from unrestricted capital funds, but just a small amount.
The existing equipment will be removed and gas heat units with mechanical cooling will be installed.
The governing board unanimously approved a contract with Midstate Mechanical for the equipment replacement.
Ollerton also reported that the district has requested emergency deficiency funding for the roof on Snowflake High School’s North Hall and library classroom buildings.
He explained that there are three buildings bumped up against each other and they have had some water damage. Arizona Risk Retention officials told Ollerton “they are doing this way too much” and the district needs to solve the problem.
“In an effort to do this, we wrote another grant to SFB and they have initially approved the design of a roof system,” said Ollerton, who explained that this will lead to SFB allowing the district to receive funding for another grant process to replace that side of the high school.
District staff members recommended that the board approve the funds from the School Facilities Board as they begin to move forward and repair the roof. The approval was unanimous.
“We don’t get building renewal money any more and SFB has a small amount of funds we can tap in,” said Superintendent Hollis Merrell. “I appreciate Mr. Ollerton doing this.”
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By Naomi Hatch