DEWITT — There will not be a new operations facility constructed in the Central Community School District in the foreseeable future.
Reacting to last month’s bid openings, Superintendent Dan Peterson said the $1.7 million projected cost was not favorable to the district. At the Aug. 14 Central Board meeting, Peterson said he had done some “soul-searching” on the direction of a new combined transportation and maintenance facility and realized transportation should stay on 11th Street at the former Krieger’s property. Peterson added there were several ideas about what to do on the existing property as they would be using the facility there for awhile.
Operations director Keith Walker enumerated some needed changes and improvements. He said the parking lot would be redone with installation of a 50-foot strip of concrete for bus parking on the east. He recommended “squaring up” the property by selling the 261-by-132 section on the west side. He estimated cost of the concrete at $50,000 and possibly another $150,000 to repair the remaining asphalt. A new guard rail could be installed and on the north edge the chain link fence taken out. In the future, parking in the back could be used.
The building itself needs nothing at this point as it has a new roof, and air conditioning and furnace were replaced last year. The district could change out large front windows for greater energy efficiency, Walker added. About $10,000 needs to be spent for electricity for buses. He asks that concrete and electricity be done this fall and the asphalt in the spring.
Walker said the current facility meets the district’s needs and the $1.7 million cannot be spent on a new facility when it can be put to better use elsewhere.
In his construction update, Walker told the board the Ekstrand Elementary roof project is complete and he was told by contractors that it should last 30 to 40 years. Air conditioning is 85 percent complete at Ekstrand and 60 percent complete at the intermediate and high schools. Everything should be up and running by Sept. 14. Walker noted the good quality of the work that has been done.