Perry School Board approves bid for boilers, receives update on construction projects

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The Perry Community School District Board of Education was informed Monday that work on the $1.2 million parking lot project at the Perry Elementary School will be completed well in advance of the Aug. 17 deadline.

Capital repair projects and purchases highlighted the July meeting of the Perry Community School District Board of Education meeting Monday.

With members Dan Wilhelmi and Kyle Baxter absent, a shortened version of the board approved the purchase of two new boilers for the Perry Middle School from Drees Company of Carroll for $192,737.

Tyson Scheidecker from Shive-Hattery noted that the competitive bidding for the project had resulted in the low bid from Drees Co. coming in at just under $50,000 less than the estimated cost of $242,908.

Students returning to classes this August will find a very different look to the front of their school, as a $1.2 million parking improvement project is nearing completion.
Students returning to classes this August will find a very different look to the front of their school, as a $1.2 million parking improvement project is nearing completion.

Kevin McLaughlin, Building and Grounds Director, noted that the boilers being replaced had been in use since 1977. He also noted that with the new bid “we will also be able to address some code issues” and that the Perry schools had “a great deal of experience working with Drees.”

“They have done quite a bit of work for us and we have not had any problems,” McLaughlin said. “They are familiar with all of our systems and I do not foresee any problems on this.”

McLaughlin also noted that one of the boilers at the high school would need to have a heat-exchanger replaced. Doing so would give the school only a short-lived warranty and not address the larger issue of having to replace the boiler itself at a future date, and he suggested looking into purchasing a third boiler (in addition to the two for the middle school), estimating the cost at approximately $45,000.

“I think it will be cheaper buying three rather than two, and then one more later,” he said. “The other advantage of going ahead with buying the whole unit is that you would receive an all-new unit with a much longer and better warranty. It just makes sense, I think, to do it that way rather than replace a part and then have something where one part is new and covered by warranty but nothing else is.”

Shive-Hattery’s Kevin Long updated the board on the progress of the elementary school parking and transportation project.

The final stages of work on the east (back) lot will be completed soon.
The final stages of work on the east (back) lot will be completed soon.

Long said the east lot (behind the school) was nearly finished save for one small area and for the replacement of poles and striping on the pavement. The west lot (front entrance) will require more time, but the board was informed the entire project would be completed prior to the Aug. 17 target date.

Long also gave an update on the high school gym roof replacement, noting that work was “well ahead of our completion date” and that the project would be completed “within two weeks.”

The board was told that during the removal of parts of the old roof that crews had discovered areas where insulation had either sagged or fallen away from reaching the top of several exterior walls. The result is the creation of “cold spots” and it was noted that several areas around the building, notably the office, have such issues.

Crews will perform an infra-red thermal survey of exterior walls to determine where, and how many, such “cold spots” might exist on the property.

“We don’t really know what to expect, but it will be a lot cheaper doing it this way (a thermal survey) than going around and ripping down drywall all over the place,” Long said.

PHS science teacher Jeff Fox spoke to the board about “Symbi” a collaborative project with Iowa State University that will be in place at the high school for the second consecutive year.

Last year science teachers Trevor Kittleson and Roger Niemeyer were involved with Symbi, while the upcoming year with see Kittleson and Fox share classroom time with ISU graduate students.

“These grad students will come to Perry every-other Thursday and Friday and be in the classroom with us,” Fox said. “They will interact directly with our students in a variety of lab projects. These are very much hands-on lessons. It helps the ISU students learn how to share their research in a classroom and our students last year loved it. I always tell our kids that ‘science is not something you learn, it is something you do’ and this is a great example of that.”

The meeting started with Carolyn McNeill addressing the board during an open forum. McNeill praised the Perry Drum Corps for their participation in the Independence Day parade and asked if the board would approve of the creation of a color guard at PHS.

Several board members said they favored the idea, with Superintendent Lynn Ubben noting that a flag corps had been added to the marching band last year and that a color guard would be wonderful addition as well.

Although no formal action was taken, Ubben thanked McNeill for the suggestion and said she was sure it was something that would be considered by PHS music instructor Brandon Weeks, who will be entering his second year at Perry this fall.

In other action, the board approved the hiring of Sara Lee as bakery vendor and of Hiland as dairy vendor. They also appointed Kent Bultman as Board Secretary, of Dwayne Hochhalter as Board Treasurer, of Angelica Cardenas-Diaz as Equity and Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Officer as well as Homeless Co-ordinator, of Kevin Vidergar as Section 504 Coordinator and of Laura Skeel as ADA Coordinator.

Also appointed were Anne Horgen and Gary Czerniakowski as Level I investigators and Eric Vaughn as Level II investigator, and of Drew Brackern from Ahlers and Cooney Law Firm as legal counsel.

Raccoon Valley Bank (limit $15 millions) as District Bank Depository, with Wells Fargo (limit $3 million), US Bank (limit $2 million) and ISJIT (Iowa Schools Joint Investment Trust; limit $6 million) as supplemental depositories.

All appointments are for the 2015-16 school year only.

Also approved were a series of hires, transfers, resignations and lane changes among district personnel, with the board approving revisions to two board policies and to the student/staff handbook regarding use of personal recording devices.

Ubben then read numerous “thank you” cards that had been sent to the board from Perry students in gratitude for the awarding of various scholarships.

The meeting adjourned at 6:50 p.m.

The PCSD Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Brady Library at the Perry High School.

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