Highland School District facilities are facing Titanic repair needs.
Jeff Williams, the district’s building and grounds director, told the School Board members at a retreat last week that they needed to start planning for $8.63 million in health, life, safety improvements.
“There is an iceberg in front of us,” Williams said. “We have to navigate through each problem.”
Williams presented his findings in a sample five-year facilities plan, which he prepared and shared with four board members, along with Superintendent Mike Sutton, Assistant Superintendent Derek Hacke and Budgeting officer Tim Bair, who attended the retreat, which was held in the Administration Building.
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Board members David Raymond, Jim Gallatin and Steve Price were not present.
While Williams’ plan did not prioritize the projects, he noted the estimates are based on today’s costs and could come in higher or lower, depending on the bidding process.
He added the district could throw $1 million annually at his proposed improvements during each of the next five years, but the district would still be more than $3 million short for all of the projects he outlined.
Earlier this month, the district completed its 10-year life/safety inspection. The report identified 523 projects that have to be addressed by the district, according to Williams.
As of Monday last week, 35 percent (or 184) projects have been resolved, he said.
Under Williams’ proposed plan, he included a five-year cost breakdown that looked at each of the district’s building needs, including:
▪ $4,937,990 at Highland High School;
▪ $1,246,100 at Highland Elementary School;
▪ $1,060,150 at Highland Middle School;
▪ $342,100 at Alhambra Primary School;
▪ $248,085 at the Administrative Center;
▪ $212,490 at Highland Primary School; and
▪ $111,640 at Grantfork Elementary School.
Williams identified an additional $402,000 for district-wide improvements and an additional $72,000 in improvements needed at the Lindenthal campus.
Among other things he recommended:
▪ Replacing the roof top HAVC unit on the east classroom section at Alhambra Primary. Williams estimated this would cost $130,000.
▪ Replacing the unit ventilators (initially installed in 1976) at HHS. Estimate: $120,000.
▪ Replacing the HHS generator. A new generator would cost $80,000, Williams said.
▪ Replacing the roof at HHS. Williams Estimate: $65,000.
▪ Sealing and filling the cracks in the parking lot at HHS. Estimate: $18,000.
▪ Resurfacing the track at the high and middle schools. District officials considered doing this earlier this spring. But the bids came for this project came in more than $400,000, which was more than double what they anticipated. The School Board is expected to rebid this project later this fall.
▪ Resurfacing the tennis HHS tennis courts. The tennis courts base and surface are in both bad shape, Williams said. Estimate: $200,000.
▪ Replacing a portion of the heating and air conditioning at HHS. Estimate: $40,000.
▪ Removing the asbestos floor tile from 22 Highland Elementary classrooms, which were originally installed in 1930. Estimate: $136,500.
▪ Replacing the entrance doors at Highland Elementary. The existing entrance doors, frames and sidelights are damaged and leak water, Williams said. Estimate: $45,000.
▪ Removing asbestos floor in the classrooms and corridor at Highland Elementary. Estimate: $241,500.
▪ removing the asbestos floor tile in the Highland Elementary annex classrooms. Estimate: $72,000.
▪ Abating and removing losing or damaged tiles, installing news tiles in the Alhambra Primary classroom addition built in 1968. Estimate: $128,000.
▪ Tuck pointing the two-story section at Highland Primary. Estimate: $50,000.
▪ Replacing the HVAC units on the multipurpose building a Highland Primary. Estimate: $30,000.
▪ Replacing the gym roof at Grantfork Elementary. Williams estimates this will cost $58,800.
▪ Overlaying the parking lots at HMS. Estimate: $200,000.
▪ Replacing floor tile in six classrooms and one hallway in HMS. Estimate: $40,000.
▪ Repairing roof leaks at the Administrative Center. Estimate: $89,285.
The School Board has not voted on any of Williams’ suggested improvements, Nor has the board decided how it will fund or prioritize the projects.
Williams suggested the district might want to consider raising its tax levy to offset the cost.
The district might also apply for federal and state grants.
In the meantime, the district is finalizing a health and life safety report for the state, which the state requires to be completed every 10 years.