BURNSIDE - Burnside will have some chilled students this fall.
During the summer, a new heating-cooling system was installed at Southeast Grand Webster Junior-Senior High. The $2.1 million project was approved in February, and the installation, which began in May, should be completed this week.
"This will help with humidity in our building, and better air flow," Launi Dane, SWG superintendent, said. "We were having some trouble with air flow. It just didn't circulate right in this building."
The new project is the result of the 2001 junior high building addition, attached to the original 1962 building, she said. It was the district's last big project.
"They didn't match. One room would be really hot and one room would be really cold. It didn't work well," she said. "So we decided to put this system in."
After three months of work, which included extensive rewiring and the installation of new pipes, the project is nearing completion, Dane said.
"It's finalizing," she said. "We have a couple meetings left where we'll do a punchlist. I've been walking around, looking at areas that still need to be fixed or cleaned up."
Switching from propane to electric brings with it a cost savings for the school, along with rebates from MidAmerican Energy, Dane said.
"We had to add two more power stations to the south of our building, and then our whole air conditioning unit is on the back side of our east side of our building," she said.
The 12-year, $2.1 million loan taken out by the SWG district will be repaid through local option sales tax money, from a capital projects fund, Dane said.
"We'll use $250,000 a year to pay it back," she said. "We knew we were going to pay it from our local option sales tax fund, but we also wanted to make sure that we did not overspend on that fund. That fund is used for renovations and for emergencies, in case something happens to the building.
"That all had to be approved before we started."
Dane said she and the school's staff are so far satisfied with the new cooling system.
"The contractors that worked here were great," she said. "I didn't really have to oversee the project, unless something came up. It was well done."
The school's students will be able appreciate the upgrade almost immediately.
"It will help that our gym is now air-conditioned, especially in this weather," Dane said.