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Chiller, heating on DCSS committee list

ALBANY, Ga. -- An ongoing air conditioning issue at the Dougherty County School System's downtown Administration Building may soon be addressed.

The Board of Education's Building & Grounds Committee recommended spending $68,000 to replace the chiller unit and address other issues related to the heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems for the three-story building during Tuesday morning's meeting.

Board members James Bush, Michael Windom and David Maschke make up the Building & Grounds Committee.

"We're really struggling this summer to keep this building cool," DCSS Assistant Director of Facilities and Capital Projects Bob Fowler. "It's 20 years old and it's broken several times. It's just getting old."

Fowler told the committee that a facilities employee "comes out everyday" to check on the chiller unit. The committee voted 3-0 for the school system staff to go back and meet with consulting engineers Driggers & Associates to develop a priority list of repairs and upgrades. This would include the chiller replacement and would not exceed an estimated cost of $150,000.

During the discussion about the chiller unit problems, the topic of adding a fourth floor to the Administration Building was briefly talked about as well. Maschke, who designed the building, said a fourth floor was part of the original plans. However, Executive Director of Operations and Business Services Robert Lloyd said that space has been a problem in

the building.

"There is a need for a fourth floor because we're running out of space ... some people are working in (designed) closets," Lloyd said.

"My guess is that we wouldn't be adding a fourth floor in the near future, but I think we'll need it in 10 years," Maschke added.

The Building & Grounds Committee decided that the Turner Field Transportation Improvements bid process would need to be started again after two of the three businesses failed to submit required information for a complete bid. JVS Associates didn't turn in a bid bond and LRA Constructors Inc. didn't turn in a subcontractor list. School system policy doesn't permit awarding a bid or contract when there's only a single bidder.

As a result of the bid disqualification, school system staff will start the bid process again with a changed scope.

LRA Constructors would've had the lowest bid at $112,743, followed by JVS Associates at $113,600 and Albany Building Construction LLC at $123,700. Fowler said some of the Turner Field Transportation Improvements included renovating the building's office and training room, painting, installing new fixtures and other upgrades.

The Building & Grounds Committee also voted 3-0 to recommend:

- Using Leedworx's $68,000 bid for carpet replacement at International Studies Elementary Charter School;

- Updated change order proposals at Albany High for $141,052 and Westover Comprehensive High for $116,125.29;

- Fencing quotes for Magnolia ($25,987.42) and Lake Park ($2,088) elementary schools and Albany High ($952), all awarded to Atlas Fence Company of Lee County; and

- OK'd Fowler to look at the old Diversion Center property at Turner Field, 4.9 acres and two buildings, which is being offered to the school system to purchase at 10 percent of market value by the U.S. Department of Education.

Fowler also updated the committee on warranty issues at Live Oak Elementary with its roof and gymnasium floor and carpet warranty issues at the Administration Building. Fowler said the carpet, which was installed less than a year ago, is not being cleaned properly to remove stains.

Tony Reese, DCSS construction manager, said new playground equipment will be distributed in July to Lake Park, Magnolia, Sylvester Road and Turner elementary schools.