Discussions start on Hannah Cole HVAC repairs

Floriculture now a fine art; district updates insurance provider

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News

A leak was discovered two years ago in the HVAC system at Hannah Cole Elementary School. While the leak was repaired, more system repairs are needed.

The potential $1.2-$1.5 million repair costs were discussed Wednesday at the Boonville R-1 Board of Education meeting. The district also could entirely replace the system, which would cost upward of $3 million. 

The board heard from Sterling Miller with Performance Services Inc. and EnergyLInk CEO Chris Ihler about HVAC systems and potential financing for the project. 

The board opted to schedule a work session for Monday to further discuss the many moving parts of the project. 

While the system's leak was found roughly two years ago, it did cause system damage and failures in the roughly 10 or so years before the leak was discovered. 

“Last year we spent the money, we identified there was a leak and we spent the money and fixed the leak," Superintendent Sarah Marriott said. "But right now what we have to do is fix all of the parts that were ruined, so that system works well again."

The HVAC system still is good and its operational costs are low. The needed repairs are relatively easy for those with the relevant skill set. 

The repair or replacement project would work in two phases. 

The first phase would consist of three dates in January, March and May to entitle project authorization and order equipment. There would be system demonstrations and utility verification of the dedicated outdoor air system.

The second phase includes five dates in January, March, May, August and November. This all includes project authorization, ordering equipment, classroom units and valve replacements to make sure the HVAC system is complete and operational, along with HVAC system commissioning and balancing. 

The district, Performance Services and EnergyLink working together could achieve cost savings on the project through a Managed Energy Service Agreement, Ihler said. 

Floriculture as a fine art

A floriculture class offered at the high school currently is just an elective credit. Discussions could lead to it being reclassified as a fine art. 

The board heard a presentation from Boonslick Technical Education Center Director Carri Risner and teacher Deanne Thies about the reclassification. This would add another option for students seeking their fine art credit. 

“They have vocal music, instrumental music and a couple of other choices, but now they can also take floriculture if they would like,” Marriott said. 

The board approved the change. 

District insurance

The board opted to move forward with the St. Louis-based Missouri United School Insurance Council as its new insurance provider. The district previously used CPSK Insurance Services of Harrisonville.

Missouri United has a more comprehensive package for educational systems, which includes some professional development and training resouces, Marriott said. Missouri United's costs are similar to CPSK.

Hotspot grant opportunity

The board approved the T-Mobile Project on Wednesday.

This is a five-year grant program that makes the district eligible to receive up to 240 Wi-Fi hotspots to distribute to students, and provides 100 Gb of data per year.

“Right now we are working on and collecting the names of who needs (hotspots)," Marriott said. "After we return from break in January we are going to work on distributing those." 

Emergency sick leave

Emergency paid sick leave was extended for staff through the end of the 2020-21 school year. It would have ended Dec. 31, otherwise. 

COVID-19 dashboard

The district is working to create a COVID-19 dashboard on its website. It will provide daily updates on the number of positive students and staff and the number of those in quarantine in each building. The district will use the dashboard in lieu of sending letter notifications when a staff or student is identified as COVID-positive. 

“This will be a lot more accurate in regards to real time information,” Marriott said. 

In other business

The board accepted donations from: Lewis & Susan Miller, Rick Ball Chevrolet, Mike and Kathleen Conway, Boonslick Shrine Club, Gigi McAreavy, Jody and Mattie Hutchison, Tom & Betty Maxwell, Doug & Mary Pat Abele, BTC Bank, Saints Peter & Paul Church, Charlie Melkersman, Tom Kayser, Jennifer Wesselman, Citizen’s Bank & Trust and Isle of Capri.