JEFFERSON — As the Jefferson school district embarks on a facilities needs study to guide its priorities well into the future, its maintenance director updated school board members on this year’s buildings and grounds projects and projects pending in the next couple of years.
Tim Graffin, maintenance director for the Jefferson schools, said that the district already has tackled several projects this school year, with more in the wings. Among the 2019-20 projects are:
Playground seal-coating at West Elementary School, to cost an estimated $7,000, should be completed by June.
Replacing the district’s bat-wing mower, at a cost of $12,310, already has been done.
The district has $34,000 worth of floor maintenance scheduled at the high school during this school year.
The district has $10,000 worth of minor building structure repairs slated at the high school and at East Elementary School, to be completed by June.
West Elementary School’s chiller already has been replaced this year, with a cost impact of $116,300.
The final portion of an “interior finishes” project is being done this year at Sullivan Elementary School, including the installation of new cabinetry, sinks and faucets, flooring, restroom door frames as needed and window drywall repairs as needed, plus Americans with Disabilities Act-compliance projects in the school bathrooms. The cost estimate for this project is $185,000, with completion expected in June.
The gymnasium rooftop unit replacement at West Elementary School has been done, with total costs listed as $55,952.
A project the district initially had set out to do, involving developing an unused back room at East Elementary School, has been discontinued, freeing $6,285 in funds for other projects.
Fischer Field repairs, involving the outfield fence, are complete, costing $11,000.
A stadium field lightpole replacement project at the high school will be stretched over two school years, with $121,832 worth of work to be completed as of June.
The first year of a multi-year project at the middle school involving tuck-pointing, caulking, capping and wrapping is listed at $60,000, with completion by June.
West Elementary School is slated to have its cafeteria glass replaced this year at a cost of $3,500.
Doorstops across the district, recommended as a security measure, are listed at $5,000, to be installed as of June.
In response to a request from the Jefferson Fire Department for reflective door numbers to assist emergency personnel in case of a disaster, the district is slated to spend $3,000 on this project.
In addition, window numbers district-wide will cost an additional $5,000.
Additional Fischer Field upgrades, with funding coming through a pending donation, also could be completed this year, but only if external funds are secured for the entire project, Graffin noted.
In addition, more work could be done in conjunction with West Elementary School’s new “Pope Path,” pending donated memorial funds.
Moving on to projects tentatively slated for the 2020-21 school year, Graffin outlined the following:
The district is looking into a possible property purchase and parking lot project with a potential budget impact of $72,000, but that deal has not been finalized and, in fact, might not be included with 2020-21 projects, Jefferson schools Superintendent Mark Rollefson noted.
West Elementary School is slated to have its front drive resurfaced and sidewalk replaced, at an estimated cost of $118,044. This project would take place this July and August.
The second year of tuck-pointing and other exterior work at Jefferson Middle School is estimated to cost $60,000. This project also would take place in July and August of this year.
The district also is looking to replace a vehicle at a cost of $10,000.
Floor maintenance expenditures for 2020-21 have been estimated at $25,000.
The high school is expected to need $60,000 in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning repairs in 2020-21.
Additional building structure repairs also are anticipated in the amount of $10,000.
The Jefferson Middle School’s master lighting control system is slated for replacement July and August 2020 and June 2021 at a budget impact of $50,000.
Playground maintenance will be done at all elementary schools and the middle school in July 2020, at an estimated cost of $28,000.
The West Elementary School fire alarm system also is slated for replacement in August 2020 at a cost of $60,000.
Graffin explained that the old system currently is functional but it is outmoded, and it is getting difficult and expensive to procure replacement parts when one of the old parts fails.
The modernized system would bring everything up to current code and also would detect carbon monoxide leaks.
Lastly, the district is looking at the second year of its stadium field lightpoles project at the high school, at a cost of $250,000. This work is slated for July and August of this year.
Moving to 2021-22, Graffin had a shorter list of potential projects, with no projected completion dates and only round estimates on costs, keeping in mind potential inflation.
East Elementary School’s chiller is slated to be replaced at a cost of $100,000.
Phase 1 of interior finishes project for East is slated to take place this year, at a cost of $300,000.
The middle school also is slated to have its chiller replaced for $175,000.
Tennis court resurfacing, scheduled for this year, is estimated at $53,044.
Another vehicle replacement is slated for 2021-22 at an estimated cost of $30,000.
Additionally, the district is looking to replace its 4x4 tractor at a cost of $30,000.
More heating, ventilating and air-conditioning repairs at the high school are projected to cost $70,000.
General building structure repairs in the amount of $10,000 are built into this budget.
Finally, district planners are looking into obtaining GPS CRG mapping software to assist emergency personnel in pinpointing the location of a perpetrator, victim or threat in the event of a crisis.
District officials stated that, in general, local emergency personnel are very familiar with all of the district’s buildings, but in the case of a major emergency, outside personnel could be called in and they would benefit from this software, developed for military use.
Looking toward the future, Rollefson said the district is proceeding with its facilities study, with the findings to come to the board in May or June.
“Right now, this is giving us an idea of what we need to begin to plan for,” Rollefson said.
Board member Terri Wenkman commented following the presentation: “I’m so appreciative of the forward-thinking approach.”
School board President Donna Bente said it is nice to see the district taking a proactive approach to all of its facilities needs rather than simply “reacting” when something reaches crisis point.
As the facilities study proceeds, she said she would like to see administrators prioritize some of these projects just in case the district is in a position in future years where it has to delay some of the projects.
“I feel Jefferson is leaps and bounds ahead of other schools in this area,” Graffin said. “I am proud to be part of the team here.”