2013-06-06 / Front Page

School plans fund work

$100K sinking fund project set to begin

MANISTIQUE – Approximately $103,000 worth of sinking fund projects will be completed in Manistique High School over the summer. The projects were approved during a recent meeting of the Manistique Area Schools Board of Education.

According to Maintenance Supervisor Randy Watchorn, the amount includes changes needed in conjunction to last summer’s boiler replacement.

“That didn’t complete the HVAC project for this building, that was just the boiler change out and changing out all the steam equipment,” he said. “We still have almost 40-old-controls. So, we have nice, new boilers, and new equipment … but we still have old, old controls doing the climate control in the building.”

Watchorn explained he would like to see the building modernized, especially in what he refers to as the “A wing”, where the majority of the classrooms are located.

“We have a lot of very, very outdated stuff over here, it was put in in 1975,” he said.

The outdated items include the controls, made by a company which stopped making that specific type of control five years after they were installed in the building, Watchorn added.

In addition to the control replacement, the other project on the list is an upgrade to the school’s phone system. According to Superintendent Kathy McDonough, the system must be upgraded to be compliant with 911. The change would allow for 911 operators to register a call to a specific location within the building.

“Right now, it’s multiple lines in the building – you can’t tell what room it’s coming from,” she said.

That project is estimated to cost $63,014, McDonough explained, however, $3,075 of that will be covered by the library, since it is public.

Board member Giannine Perigo questioned if the sinking fund budget could accommodate the projects. MAS Administrative Assistant Donna Winkel assured board members the district has enough in the sinking fund.

“We could, of course, do all of these with the money that we’ll be collecting this year,” she said. “We collect about $425,000 a year.”

One project that will be postponed is the replacement of MHS’s fire alarm system. McDonough explained the board will receive more information on this in August, since a consultant for the district did not feel they had adequate time to receive a reasonable bid in time to complete the project this summer.

“That is something we have put on the back burner for a while,” Perigo added.

According to Watchorn, the engineering on the project would be done this fall, with the actual project getting underway in the summer of 2014.

“That’s a big project – it’s really a big project, because we’re using the old type of system in this building,” he said. “We don’t have smoke detection in this building – that’s just one example … we had that fire in the bathroom, and even the police, the people who responded, they asked me how come the fire alarm didn’t go off – we don’t have that in this building, it’s an old system.”

The board unanimously approved the total of $103,259 for the 2013 sinking fund projects.

In other business, the board also accepted the retirement or resignation of six employees, including: Mary McCune, Jan Wright, Linda Parker-Lowman, Deb Neadow, Sherry Larche, and Jessica Vitale.

Quick Facts

The Manistique Area Schools Board of Education recently approved $103,259 worth of sinking fund projects to be completed over the summer. These projects include the replacement of climate controls and upgrades to the phone system.

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