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School district prepares for another spate of projects this summer

The Farmington School District has been working its way through the $45.3 million in building bonds approved by voters in 2015.

This past summer, Tiger Stadium was fixed for $1.3 million, Farmington Elementary and Boeckman Middle schools got new boilers for $1.5 million, and North Trail Elementary added classrooms and completed other projects for $2.2 million. Akin Road's parking lot was repaved, and Riverview Elementary had its front entrance rebuilt to be more secure.

This summer will be the same — jam-packed with more building projects, many of them the same as last summer — but at different schools.

Jane Houska, director of finance, said she will give an overview of the upcoming projects at the next school board meeting, Nov. 28.

One project that has been put on hold, however, is installing security cameras at all schools.

The cost estimate came in three times higher than the district had originally expected when plans were being made six years ago.

"I guess I'm in sticker shock right now," said board member Steve Corraro after seeing the price tag.

The original estimate was $124,977. The "Taj Mahal" option went as high as $1.1 million. The district scaled it back to $484,675, but board members were still concerned that the price was too high.

The high school will be the most expensive school for camera installations. The estimated cost of $120,115 is almost as much as the original estimate for all buildings.

"The parking lot alone cost $86,000," Houska said.

She said the cost was inline with the district's criteria — to have a uniform system that can be tied into the police system, have live feed capability and have a mobile option.

Houska said to lower the price, they may need to scale back their criteria, or do the work in phases.

"The state of the art for security, what's expected for security, has changed so much," Superintendent Jay Haugen said. "We have time. This doesn't have to be done right away."

Houska said she'd like all summer projects to be bid out by February or March.

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