Board approves $900,000 for building projects

Board approves $900,000 for building projects by M. Jill Karolevitz The Vermillion School Board approved a $900,000 capital outlay certificate Oct. 9, $600,000 of which will be used to finish the Vermillion High School construction project, and $300,000 for revamping Jolley School�s heating and air conditioning system � if the latter falls within feasibility range.

Brian Miller, sales office manager from Johnson Controls, the primary heating and air conditioning provider for the Vermillion school system, discussed the Jolley heating and air conditioning estimate with the school board Monday night.

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�At one time you gave us a price estimate of $399,000,� said board member Nick Merrigan. �Now it�s been kicked up to $495,000. What has changed?�

Miller said because the project has been pushed back, inflation � 5 percent each for two years � and the loss of economies of scale � another 5 percent � have caused an increase in the original figure given to the board several months ago.

�But this is just an educated guess, a budgeting tool,� Miller said. �The estimate is conceptual at this point. Once we have the nuts and bolts down, we can give you more concrete numbers.�

School board members were also concerned with the 5 percent used as an inflation figure.

�That�s not fair,� said Floyd Boschee.

It was explained, however, that the construction business does not necessarily follow Consumer Price Index figures, thus, inflation rates are higher. There�s also a �premium on labor in construction,� Miller said.

The total for the heating and air conditioning, at this estimation stage, still includes the cost of replacing Jolley School�s boiler � a project that has already been completed. Earlier this year, the boiler did not meet insurance inspection codes and was recently replaced with a price tag of about $110,000. Based on subtracting that figure from the estimate, revamping the total heating and air conditioning system at Jolley School would fall in a range of about $385,00 to $386,000. The $300,000 will come from the capital outlay certificate. The remainder would come out of the capital outlay fund balance, which is a feasible plan, according to Tom Craig, school board president.

School board members asked that Miller present them with a more detailed account of the estimate � working with contractors and material costs. He said he could have the information in time for the December school board meeting.

�The sooner the project is designed and you get a contractor locked in and secure equipment, the better it will be for you,� Miller said. �And if any work can possibly be done during this school year, you won�t have to pay the premium labor costs that would come during the summer.�

The school board, however, is not locked in to the heating and air conditioning yet. It is under no obligation to spend the $300,000 from the capital outlay certificate for the project.

�We won�t make the decision to spend the money until we hear from you,� Craig told Miller.

The $900,000 capital outlay certificate will result in payments of about $117,000 a year for 10 years, Craig said.

�That is within our budget,� he said.

The use of capital outlay certificates to fund part of the Vermillion High School construction was approved by the school board as initial plans were made for the project.

Editor�s note: Last week�s Plain Talk article regarding the Jolley School heating and air conditioning project presented the source of funding incorrectly. Of the estimated price tag, $300,000 will come from a capital outlay certificate, not $86,000 as last week�s article stated. The latter figure will come from the capital outlay fund balance. We apologize for the error.

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