District reviews pared-down list of building projects
The Farmington School District has put together a pared-down list of proposed building improvements.
School board members got their first look Monday at a list of roughly $8.2 million in construction and maintenance projects that will use up what's left of bond funds originally meant for a fifth elementary school. Slowing growth has made that building unnecessary, at least for the immediate future.
A district task force created the list presented Monday from a longer list the district was considering last year. The reduction was necessary because the district used part of those bond funds to pay back an old loan from the state of Minnesota. That repayment was made possible by legislative action last year.
As a result, the district's to-do list includes expanded kindergarten rooms at Farmington Elementary School rather than classroom additions and special education suites. At Akin Road Elementary School, a list of proposed improvements has shrunk from nearly $3.6 million to $596,401.
The reduced proposal eliminates $750,000 for security cameras at Farmington High School. Finance director Carl Colmark said when he presented the recommendations that the technology behind the proposed cameras is still unproven.
FHS will still get roughly $60,000 for other security improvements if the school board approves the recommended improvements. It will also get an estimated $600,000 repair to its chiller, a $175,000 repair to a ventilation system in its science labs and a $150,000 improvement to the HVAC system in the school's recital hall.
Colmark said the school currently has to pre-chill the recital hall to keep it from getting uncomfortably warm when there is a big crowd.
The final list Colmark presented Monday adds up to $8.5 million. That's almost $300,000 more than the district has available, but Colmark said he hopes to find cheaper solutions for issues with the chiller and the HVAC system.
School board members did not take action on the proposed improvements Monday. They expect to make a final decision at their Feb. 27 workshop meeting.