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Temperature relief on the way for Decatur elementary

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Some classes are too hot and some are too cold, but a fix could soon leave the rooms just right.

Over the Christmas break, part of the energy management control system at Rann Elementary went out. The system, which controls the room temperatures, runs on outdated software that is at least 14 years old, said Superintendent Rod Townsend.

“Not all of it is out, but about half of it is out, so some of the rooms are being controlled, and some are having to be manually controlled,” he explained to board members at Monday’s meeting. “(We’ve) not been able to keep it at a constant temperature. It’s either been running wide open or closed completely off.”

Townsend said the school had a couple of options. It could replace parts of the system wing by wing at the school, or it could replace the entire control system.

He recommended replacing the entire system.

“In order to do that it is a pretty sizable project, somewhere in the $75,000 to $85,000 range,” he said. “We can do it one wing at a time, but in the long run it will cost you more money. If we continue like it is, almost weekly we have pieces that go down. It’s obsolete, so we aren’t able to repair that piece. That’s not the way I’d recommend it. You are eventually going to have to replace the whole system.”

The new system would receive periodic updates like any other software program, Townsend said.

Townsend recommended paying for the system replacement with some of the $140,000 in bond money left over from the 2008 bond project.

Because repairs are needed as soon as possible, Townsend asked the board to give him permission to seek bids and accept the one that provides the best value for the district.

“I think we can do it for a lot less than $85,000,” he said.

The board agreed to have Townsend seek and award a bid for the replacement.

Toward the end of Monday’s meeting, the board went into a closed session for a little more than an hour to perform the annual superintendent evaluation. The board reconvened and unanimously voted to extend Townsend’s contract for another year. The contract now runs through July of 2017.

The board also voted to give Townsend a raise of $6,500. That brings his salary to $159,726. Townsend was hired in July of 2009 with a salary of $135,000.

In other business:

  • Hassie Sutton from McCarroll Middle School was honored as educator of the month and Juan Garcia from the maintenance department as support staff employee of the month.
  • Joel Forbis, a senior trumpet player, was honored for earning second chair in the all state jazz band.
  • The district now hopes to move into the renovated central administration building the first week of February.

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