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School work is going well

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education Farmington, 55024
Farmington Independent
651-463-7730 customer support
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Just over a month into the Farmington School District's busy summer construction season, work appears to be on schedule and progressing well.

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Construction crews have completed work on a new data center at Robert Boeckman Middle School (formerly Farmington High School) and infrastructure work is nearly complete at the other buildings undergoing renovation in preparation for the coming school year.

"All the demolition, all the infrastructure work under the concrete, that's all been done," said Rosalyn Pautzke, the district's administrative services director. "There's a lot of electrical that still needs to be done. The mechanical is in large part complete, but there's still finishing work that needs to be done."

That infrastructure work will, in part, clear the way for the installation of bathrooms in what will become the kindergarten area of the new Riverview Elementary School (formerly Farmington Middle School East).

Getting things set up in the district's new data center, which replaces a suite of offices in the district service center, presented some challenges -- district employees lost access to e-mail for a few days, and the cooling systems had some trouble keeping up with the new equipment -- but Pautzke said the benefits of the new facility should outweigh any difficulties. The new facility replaces a suite of rooms in the district service center that housed both network equipment and the district's technology staff. Pautzke said temperature control was a consistent problem in that space.

"Mostly it has gotten too hot and we've fried some equipment," Pauzke said. "One time the unit on the roof that does the cooling -- the damper stuck open and that weekend happened to be 20 below. It was pulling in 20-below air and it froze some hard drives.

"(The data center) is a big step forward for the security and the environmental control of the district."

The new center also provides separate office space for technology staff.

All that construction -- plus the nearly complete Farmington High School -- also means a lot of packing and moving. Pautzke said the district is about two days ahead of schedule in what she describes as an "elaborate, 16-phase schedule" to get desks, chairs and other equipment where it is supposed to be.

"That's OK, because we're not stepping on anything in front of us as far as needing to be in a space that's not ready," she said. "Obviously, you can't get too far ahead of schedule."

The district's biggest construction project -- that new high school l set to open in the fall -- is also making good progress. Pautzke said the project is about 99.5 percent done.

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