NW School Tapped For New Air Conditioner

The air conditioning is broken at North Webster Elementary School and quick action is needed to replace the unit and have it ready for the first day of classes Aug. 13, a little more than a month away.

During Tuesday evening’s regular monthly meeting of the Wawasee school board in Syracuse, the board approved emergency funds be used to purchase a new chiller for North Webster Elementary.

Jim Evans, director of finances for the Wawasee Community School Corp., said an emergency situation needed to be declared by the board because replacing the chiller is expensive and going through the normal bidding process would take several weeks to complete. “We need to take the steps to get a unit ready by the start of school,” he said.

David Cates, school corporation attorney, said if an emergency situation is declared by the board up to three quotes can be obtained to purchase needed equipment. The board voted to accept the quote of $148,494 from Trane for a new air conditioning unit. Bob Lahrman, director of support services for the school corporation, said Trane has a unit available and it can be shipped and then installed in time for the first day of classes.

The broken air conditioner is 12 years old and Mike Wilson, school board member, asked if it is normal for a unit that old to break down. Lahrman said it had a five-year warranty and typically the metal tubing used in units now is thinner and a 10-year warranty is about the maximum usually offered. “They are making these units to be more efficient now,” he said, accounting for the thinner metal.

In other business, the board heard a brief presentation from Mike Lindsey of Performance Services about how much the school corporation has saved since implementing various energy saving measures in 2009. He said for the period of March 2012 to February 2013, Wawasee avoided paying $280,619 in energy costs. The actual measured energy savings was $161,222, which was more than the guaranteed energy savings of $117,192. In addition, the energy leadership program saved the corporation $119,397 in energy costs.

Lindsey noted the figures are “pure dollars off energy costs” and do not include the fact money was also saved by replacing outdated equipment resulting in fewer maintenance calls.

Also on the agenda, the board approved the hiring of Geoff Walmer as an assistant principal at Wawasee High School. Walmer replaces Mike Schmidt, who was promoted to principal. Walmer taught math at WHS for five years before leaving to become the seventh-grade dean of students at Goshen Middle School for the 2012-13 academic year.

Other agenda items included:

  • The board approved a one-year consulting contract with American Fidelity to provide guidance for complying with the federal health care reform laws.
  • One-year consulting contracts were approved with Phil Metcalf for helping with school improvement plans and also with Precision Automotive to help with the marine trades program starting in August for high school students.
  • The board approved changed the deadline date for accepting transfer students to be the same as the official count date, which is Sept. 13 this year.
  • And the board approved a $500 donation from Biomet for the early career options summer challenge program at the high school.
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About Tim Ashley

Tim Ashley, associate editor for The Mail-Journal, has been with The Papers since March 2004. He edits articles for The Mail-Journal, as well as several other publications of The Papers. Ashley also covers Wawasee school board meetings, activities at Wawasee High School and Wawasee Middle School and monthly Kosciusko County Area Planning Commission meetings. A 1996 graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in journalism, he lives in Goshen.Staff Writer tashley@the-papers.com
  • Heidi Rozow

    I’ve talked to other corporation Superintendents and learned that “emergency meetings” and use of emergency funds should rarely occur. These meetings cut public input out and tend to result in higher costs than planned/traditional bidding for jobs. In two years, there have been at least a two large $$ “emergency” expenditures. Who is supposed to be maintaining the facilities? Why are these items sneaking up on the corporation like this? I think it’s HIGH TIME that someone be held responsible for maintenance failures in our school district (and I don’t mean the custodians, I mean the BOSSES)!

  • Hailey Andersen

    We once had a similar situation on our hands at my school- the board wound up hiring **** to install a rented unit just for the remainder of the school year.