2012-11-15 / Front Page

Heat issue gets board attention

Big Bay de Noc School officials hoping for fix before basketball

GARDEN – Delays in the installation of a new heating and ventilation system in the Big Bay de Noc School gymnasium have caused problems recently. In Monday’s meeting of the school board, members discussed the delay and decided upon a course of action.

According to Superintendent Bill Pistulka, the system was part of an approximately $250,000 renovation project which took place over the summer. The project included the renovation of the school’s kitchen; the removal and replacement of computer lab carpet; and the replacement of suspended ceiling tiles in several classrooms.

“The installation has not been as timely as we would have liked with the gym heating and vent system

Pistulka explained. “We had run into some difficulties … the units were too large for interior installation, so now we have to mount them on the exterior, on the locker room roof.”

During Monday’s meeting, board members met with Integrated Designs – the architect contracted for the renovation project – and came up with a timeline for completion of the installation.

“We are trying to move this along soon, with the cold weather coming and basketball season and the events,” he said. “The hope here is, prior to Thanksgiving, that full installation will occur and we won’t have any problems.”

Since the onset of colder weather, Pistulka said the school had been avoiding use of the gym, and that junior high basketball games have been chillier than usual.

“We are disappointed in the delay,” he said. “It’s been a very disappointing and frustrating process … We have high hopes that this will be completed soon.”

In other business, the board also heard an audit report in regard to the district’s budget. According to Pistulka, the district ended the 2011-12 school year with a fund balance of $498,000 – higher than originally anticipated. However, he noted the district will be overspending by approximately $200,000 in 2012-13.

“We budgeted for 247 students and our actual count was 242,” he said. “So we did have to make up that slight difference.”

Despite the count, Pistulka said the school estimated close enough to still meet the district’s goals and complete with 2012-13 school year with an approximately $300,000 fund balance.

“All in all, we’re pleased and satisfied with where we’re at, and we’re moving forward with this year,” he added.

In addition to accepting the audit report, the board also agreed to post an opening for a half-time elementary teacher position. This teacher will be hired in January, explained Pistulka, and will serve in a support capacity within the elementary wing of the school.

A bus driver, Hank St. Amour, was also hired during the meeting.

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