The Hays USD 489 school board took a first look at a plan to spend more than $778,000 in the first phase of heating and air conditioning upgrades at Hays High School during the board’s meeting Monday night.
The work will add roof-top units for the main gym, auxiliary gym and wrestling room. The program will also improve controls for other parts of the high school. The district would like to complete construction on the project this summer.
The whole high school HVAC project is estimated to cost $4 million to $5 million. Despite the failure of a $78.5 million bond issue in November, Thissen said the district has enough money to move forward with the first phase of the HHS HVAC project.
Thissen said the areas chosen were the most used in the summer and most needed air conditioning. The AC system has been leaking water on the courts during volleyball tournaments, and people had to mop the floor during breaks. The wrestling room does not currently have an air-conditioning system.
Building Controls and Services is the main contractor on the project, and it will subcontract with Glassman Corp. and RDH Electric and Construction of Hays.
The new system for the gyms can be run independently of the rest of the school, and the new program controls will allow the system to be turned on remotely for night or weekend activities, James Herrman, BCS rep, said. The system can be set to match the capacity, so it will run less of a load for 10 students at a practice versus a gym full of people.
“The whole project needs to be made a priority, so it does not put us at a technological disadvantage for the new controls,” said board member Josh Waddell.
Board member Greg Schwartz, newly appointed to the board, said he did not like how the bids were taken on the project. He said there is an advantage in working with one contractor, but you don’t know if you are getting the best price if you don’t bid.
“It is a lot of money not to go out for bid,” Schwartz said.
The district selected BCS through a request for proposal to manage the project, and then BCS has selected subcontractors to do the work.
Schwartz asked why the district wasn’t doing the whole project at once.
Thissen said a couple of the district’s leases will be up in the next year or two, which will put the district in a better financial position to pay for the rest of the project.
“We are trying to dedicate funds to where we think are the greatest needs, and this is one,” he said.
The board took no action on the item.