Coshocton City School Board holds special work meeting

| January 13, 2017

COSHOCTON – Another step in the process that began over a year ago was taken Jan. 11 when the school board of the Coshocton City Schools met in a special meeting to hear options for upgrades from representatives of Plug Smart. The company offers solutions to upgrade buildings to improve energy use and security issues.

The company has visited the high school several times and inspected every part of the school. The district’s main concerns have been the HVAC system at the high school and also security in that building. Other projects being considered are replacing windows and doors, exterior upgrades, LED lighting, the auditorium and GAC (lobby) at the high school. Possible upgrades at Stewart Field are also being considered.

Plug Smart has a team of contractors, including plumber and electricians, along with engineers that inspect schools and offer three possible tiers of solutions to those problems. The lowest tier is the least expensive and the cost rises with each additional option the district chooses.

The main concern at the high school is the outdated HVAC system. Most of the building does not have air conditioning and the heating system is becoming obsolete. When units stop working, parts cannot be purchased and must be custom made, which increases the cost substantially. Also, board member Steve Clark pointed out that they should be considering “proactive, not reactive” solutions to this problem.

The board agreed with this, understanding that if the heating system stops working, fixing it so the students could attend school would become an emergency situation and no one could guess how many days the school may have to be closed to make repairs. The board wants to find a solution they can make on their own time and not in a rush.

The school board prioritized their concerns at prior meetings with representatives from Plug Smart. Besides the HVAC, security and LED lighting were the most important items to discuss. The upgrades to LED lighting and the HVAC will save the district money and they may receive credit from the OFCC for the upgrades.  Superintendent David Hire also stated that the safety of the students and staff at the high school is one of his biggest concerns. The new elementary building only has one door open during school hours and people who visit are cleared before they are allowed out of the locked area. A possible location for this at the high school is the second floor “faculty” entrance. A new wall would be built in the hallway and only visitors that were cleared would be allowed access to the rest of the school.

All other doors would be locked during school hours. Faculty would be issued cards or “bobs” to unlock certain doors and any door that was held open too long would sound an alarm. During public events, the GAC doors would be open, but all stairways leading to the rest of the school would be locked to prevent anyone from wandering through the school.

Upgrades to the auditorium, windows and doors, exterior of the building and other areas were also discussed. Plug Smart shared the damage that was discovered throughout the building in terms of the HVAC system, damage to exterior and the age of the windows. All upgrades would allow the school to become more efficient and therefore save money.

The representatives from Plug Smart shared the possible cost of each upgrade at the three levels. Each level of cost included a detailed list of what would be upgraded at that tier. Plug Smart was asked if these upgrades could be completed in phases and they agreed that was possible.

No final decisions were made at the meeting.

Category: Education

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