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Farmington's school projects are on schedule

Summer construction projects are nothing new in school buildings, but this year’s work at Farmington Elementary School is particularly hard to miss.

The walls of the school’s cafeteria disappeared shortly after the end of the school year in June, and work has been going on ever since on a number of improvements and expansions at the school. The projects, which include the addition of four new kindergarten classrooms and improvements to the school’s air handling system in addition to the cafeteria work, will cost the district a little more than $6 million.

Work at FES got under way the day after classes ended and is on schedule, but finance director Carl Colmark said the renovations will not be done in time for the start of school in the fall. Kindergarten and first grade students will start their year at the district’s instructional services center. The rest of the school’s students will lose their kitchen and their cafeteria for the first part of the year. They will eat in the school’s gymnasium and food will be prepared elsewhere and brought in.

“Once we get to winter break we plan to reoccupy the new kitchen and cafeteria and the kindergarten and first grade classrooms,” Colmark said.

The FES renovations are not the only work going on in the district. Work also got under way in June on improvements at Akin Road Elementary School. Those projects include improvements to the air handling system and a renovation of the school’s media center.

The cost of the Akin Road projects is estimated at $1.16 million. That does not include a plan to remove lockers from the entryway of the school. That part of the project was rejected when the Farmington School Board approved bids for the work in February.

Work at Akin Road should be done by the time classes start in the fall.

The district is still looking for solutions for a noisy chiller at Farmington High School. School board members rejected bids for a proposed enclosure for the equipment, part of the school’s cooling system, after they came in much higher than expected. Colmark said the district is looking at insulating wraps for the equipment and hope to have something in place by the end of July so they can run more tests on the noise levels.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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