By Ann Marie Shambaugh
Zionsville Community Schools is assembling a team of experts to find a way to replace the aging roof and HVAC system at Pleasant View Elementary, items described as the “highest priority in the district for replacement in the near future” in a staff report presented to the school board.
The school board approved a plan Sept. 12 to work with attorneys, financial advisors, engineers and others to complete a comprehensive study and find a solution. ZCS Chief Financial Officer Mike Shafer said preliminary cost estimates at fixing the HVAC, which includes the original 1982 system in the older building on campus and a roof that is more than 20 years old, came in at more than $1 million each.
“These roofs are well past their intended service life and have come to the point at which we are now patching the patches,” Shafer said.
ZCS has not yet identified funding for the repairs.
“We are working to coordinate the efforts of these various professionals and expect to report back to the board at an upcoming meeting on a unified plan,” Shafer said.
The district had to slow its pace on completing capital projects about eight years ago after state-imposed tax caps went into effect. Since then, the caps have led to a loss of $18.4 million for the district, Shafer said.
The board also approved several other projects on Sept. 12. They are:
- Upgrades to the fire alarm panel at Zionsville West Middle School, which has been experiencing frequent signal interruptions. Cost is quoted at $22,000 and will be funded from remaining 2005 bond funds.
- Additional power for bus engine heaters along the north fence line at the transportation complex. Currently power is being supplied through extension cords, which is “unreliable and unsafe” and a type of situation that led to a fire in Westfield, resulting in the complete loss of several buses, according to the staff report. The cost is estimated at $40,000 and will be paid from the transportation fund.
- Replacement of the original, large, hard-surface play courts at Union Elementary, which have developed significant cracks. Approximate cost is $96,075 and will be funded through the GROW fund, which is revenue collected by ZCS from its before- and after-school care and preschool programs. Work is expected to be done in the summer of 2017.
- Adding a public address system at the Educational Services Center to improve communication throughout the building. Approximate cost is $5,400 and will be paid through GROW funds.
- Adding interior doors between the waiting area and offices at Stonegate, Boone Meadow and Eagle elementary schools. Cost estimates for Stonegate and Boone Meadow are $12,000 each and $35,000 at Eagle Elementary. GROW funds will pay for these costs as well.