UNION COUNTY — The Union County School District will use over $1.8 million of capital bond revenue to finance the $1.5 million upgrade of the HVAC systems at Union County High School, Monarch Elementary School, and Buffalo Elementary School.
Finance Director Lynn Lawson reported to the Union County Board of School Trustees Monday evening that the district currently has on hand $563,000 in capital funds. Lawson said that in September, however, that figure will increase to nearly $1.9 million through the re-issuance of the bonds the board issued in 2006. He said that the refinancing will result in interest savings that will total approximately $1.3 million which can be used for capital improvements.
Those additional funds will come in handy for the district as the board voted unanimously Monday to approve a motion by Trustee Wanda All, seconded by Trustee Betty JoAnn McMorris authorizing capital improvement projects involving upgrading the HVAC systems at Union County High School, Monarch Elementary School, and Buffalo Elementary School.
Prior to taking the vote, the board was addressed by Wade Crowe of Wade Crowe Engineering who discussed the findings of an assessment of the HVAC systems at the schools. Crowe said that the systems were at or are past their useful life expectancy and were in need of replacement. In the case of Union County High School, Crowe pointed out that it has only one small cooling tower which, if it were to cease operating, would force the school to be closed until it could be replaced because without it the building cannot be cooled or heated.
Crowe presented a series of options for dealing with this to the board including replacing the current cooling tower at the high school with two proper-sized, high-efficiency cooling towers. The proposal also included upgraded, Internet-based controls for the HVAC system, and an upgraded pump system.
As their systems are also at or past their useful life expectancy, Crowe said similar HVAC upgrades would be needed at Monarch and Buffalo.
The option approved by the board would involve expenditures totaling just over $1.5 million and include the upgrades proposed by Crowe at UCHS, MES, and BES.
Lawson said the $563,000 the district currently has on hand for capital improvements will cover the cost of the UCHS upgrades which Crowe projected would cost $487,000. He said the $1.3 million the district will receive in September from refinancing the 2006 bond issue can be used for the HVAC improvements at Monarch ($485,000) and Buffalo ($575,000).
The board directed that the HVAC improvements at UCHS be undertaken this summer with the improvements at Monarch and Buffalo to follow later. Lawson said he expects work on the upgrades at Monarch and Buffalo to begin in the spring of 2017 and be completed by the end of that summer.
During Monday’s meeting the board went into executive session to discuss personnel and contractual matters. When they returned to open session, the board approved the following items.
• Personnel Report — Trustee Kakie White made a motion to approve the personnel report, seconded by Mike Massey. The vote was 8-0 in favor of the motion. Trustee Manning Jeter abstained. The personnel recommendations included Deidre Jeter-Gregory as a Science Teacher at Union County High School; Roger Whitt as Music Teacher at Foster Park Elementary School; and Russell Austin as Business Teacher/Coach at Union County Career and Technology Center.
• Contractual — Trustee Wanda All made a motion to award a contract for independent auditor to McGregor and Company. The motion was seconded by Mr. Manning Jeter. The vote was 9-0 in favor of the motion.
• Contractual — Trustee Jane Wilkes made a motion to award cleaning contract to GCA for Buffalo Elementary School. The motion was seconded by Trustee Betty JoAnn McMorris. The vote was 8-1 in favor of the motion. Jeter cast the lone dissenting vote.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or email@example.com.