AC installation continues for classrooms

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The school board selected Hometown Plumbing of Davenport as the contractor for phase two of the air conditioning project at the West Liberty schools.

Last summer the same contractor installed air conditioning units for classrooms in the eastern side of the elementary building. This summer it will finish the rest of the classrooms in the building as well as install units in classrooms at the Early Learning Center.

The contractor gave a $260,000 base bid for the project; however, it was not given the go-ahead for AC installation in the elementary school kitchen and ELC cafeteria.

The elementary kitchen and ELC cafeteria were given as alternatives in the project, leaving it up to the board to decide if AC units are needed in the locations.

Superintendent Steve Hanson noted that the ELC kitchen is used for instructional activities such as P.E. and assemblies, while the elementary cafeteria has a lot of employees.

"The ELC kitchen is an instructional space that I do believe is important to have air conditioning, the issue of the kitchen at the elementary is one of employees and their work conditions…our largest number of workers is in that elementary kitchen," he said.

That being said, the board decided to bid the two projects separately from the classrooms, in the interest of lower costs.

"I personally would have a very strong preference for accepting the bid for the base work and then asking for a separate rebid of the two alternative projects grouped together and see if there's a way that the school district can capitalize on what the two contractors saw as a differential in price," said board member David Millage.

The same make and model of equipment used in the beginning of the AC project will be used to finish it. The contractor will have full access to the buildings the day after school lets out, under the guidance of lead architect Shive-Hattery.

Hanson indicated that they're aiming to finish AC installation by Aug. 1. Once completed the entire school district will have air conditioning in its classrooms.
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