The Bowling Green City Schools has estimates to how much it will cost to add air condition to three buildings.
The board of education held a workshop on Thursday and heard estimates from representatives from Fanning Howey Associates.
The cost to add air conditioning for Kenwood and Conneaut elementaries, as well as the high school, range from $3.99 million to $7.56 million.
But by the end of the two-hour session, the focus was on how to pay for work at the two elementaries.
Air conditioning options include a mini-split unit that would be in each classroom and provide air conditioning to that room, but not ventilation.
The cost to add these at $807,554 at Kenwood and $782,641 at Conneaut for a total cost of $1.59 million.
The work could be done while classes were in session, said Dan Obrynba, project executive with Fanning Howey Associates, and could start as early as this fall.
It would mean moving one class out of a classroom, moving students back in when the work is done, then moving onto the next classroom, he said.
The second option that got the most discussion was what has been approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
That option would replace the entire ductwork in the buildings, which will be more efficient to operate, but require the installation of new ceilings and lights, Obrynba said. It would also address the ventilation issues.
The cost for $1.33 million for Kenwood, and $1.24 million at Conneaut for a total cost of $2.57 million.
Board member Ryan Myers confirmed that if the board picked the OFCC option, it would be spring 2022 before any work started with completion maybe by fall 2022.
“I think that’s reasonable,” Obrynba said.
Obrynba and Tim Hamilton attended the board’s Thursday workshop to provide the estimates as well as discuss the steps they would take if the district decided to try a bond issue for a new high school or new elementaries.
The question that remains unanswered is how long the elementaries will be used as is.
Community member Grant Chamberlain pointed out that since the district just spent $200,000 on new boilers for those two elementaries, the mini-split would be the best option.
Obrynba agreed that that option would keep the money already invested at work, and wouldn’t throw it away.
Board member Ginny Stewart said if the plan is to keep the elementaries, the OFCC option is the best. But if there is a hope of replacing those buildings, they should look at the mini-split option.
“That is a good way to put it,” Obrynba said.
“We just can’t make it comfortable. We need to address the ventilation,” Hovest said.
Board President Norm Geer said that if the goal is to keep the elementaries for the foreseeable future, it would make more sense to go with the OCFF option.
“The impetus for all that we’re doing right now is to figure out some way to improve upon the current situation as soon as we can,” Geer said.
The best way to fund the improvements also was discussed.
The district is going to be receiving another round of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds at an amount of approximately $2.5 million.
“Generally speaking , HVAC is one of those things that fly right through,” Obrynba said about the application process.
However, board member Tracy Hovest pointed out a stipulation that says the funds must be used on repairs and improvements that reduce the risk of coronavirus. It doesn’t sound like the mini-splits will do that, she said.
Chamberlain said that $2.5 million in ESSER funds would fix the elementaries.
The board asked Treasurer Cathy Schuller to put together an application to get approval to use the ESSER funds for the multi-split option.
It will be up to the Ohio Department of Education to approve the use of these funds in that manner, Obrynba said.
“You’re not going to get an interpretation until you fill out an application,” he said. “You can only gain by going ahead and doing the application.”