At their Dec. 21 meeting, the SLSD Board of Education members listened to a presentation by Pat Gallagher of Trane Heating & Cooling. As reported in the Jan. 3 edition of The Harrison Press, the board is considering the proposal to replace the Activity Center’s chiller.
While several other options were reviewed, a new chiller is the most cost-effective solution in the long-term as the current chiller is beyond repair at this point. SLSD facility personnel have been working with several HVAC experts to maintain the system, on an almost daily basis. According to Treasurer Brian Rabe, the new chiller system would save the district approximately $65,000 in maintenance costs over five years.
The District is looking to use State term contract pricing for the chiller. A State term contract is a full and open competitive bid process performed by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The State bid for chillers was awarded to Trane by the Ohio DAS. The District can participate in this program by being a member of the State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program.
Both the mechanical design and actual chiller installation were bid out as part of this project. DeBra-Kuempel was the low bidder on the mechanical installation portion and Trane was the low bidder for the mechanical design services. A mechanical engineer has designed and approved all modifications to the system.
“We realize this is a large expense, but we are at the point where it is most practical to install a new chiller rather than continue to Band-aid repairs,” explains Superintendent John C. Hamstra. “We are able to cover a portion of this cost thanks to income from the recent sale of the former Elizabethtown School property.”
The Activity Center is used an average of 17 hours per day, six days a week, including both school and public functions. “Making the Activity Center available for our schools and for the community is an important factor,” adds Hamstra. “If the chiller goes down for an extended period, we’d be facing a very costly predicament with flooring.”
The Board of Education will vote on the proposal at their January meeting. Pending outcome of that vote, the new chiller would tentatively be installed in late February to early April, in time for the high school’s May graduation. School and public events at the Activity Center will continue as scheduled, pending the installation.