School board sees design of FHS renovations
Design plans for the Fairfield High School renovation and addition project were shown in a PowerPoint at Monday’s school board meeting by Nick Hildebrandt of StruXture Architects of Waterloo.
The front entrance on Broadway Avenue near the auditorium will be changed inside and out. Inside, the design shows an open staircase from the ground floor to an upper floor that makes a 180-degree turn. The lobby has inner and outer doors and a high ceiling open to the second floor. The high school office is located on the entry level in view of the entrance.
A new main entrance is planned on the west side of the building from the parking lot. An addition, which will include new science classrooms, will be built on the northwest side of the building.
A metal building will be added on the northeast side to house auto shop classes and a wrestling room.
The architectural design drawings are available for public viewing at the district’s Administration/Curriculum/Technology center during business hours.
Auxiliary Services Director Fred McElwee told the board working drawings should be ready for a bid letting in January, with construction and renovation to start in the spring. The final completion date is sometime in the fall of 2015.
One of the top priorities identified by FHS students and staff for the renovation is indoor air quality and temperature control.
Hildebrandt said a new cooling tower will be added to the roof and a hot water system will be used. Each classroom will have a utilities cabinet with individual air/temperature control for that room.
Board member Jerry Nelson asked if it would be a geothermal system, which he didn’t think is worth the expense. Hildebrandt said the high school is not getting a geothermal system but the hot water system being planned can in the future be more easily converted to a geothermal system.
“Not air conditioning the gym is a big mistake,” Nelson said. “It’s brutal in there for volleyball.”
Superintendent Art Sathoff said it had been discussed at one time.
“It would add too much cost,” said Sathoff.
McElwee presented an updated district infrastructure plan for the board’s approval Monday.
“This document is for planning purposes and changes year to year depending on the district’s needs and financial situation,” he said. “Having an infrastructure plan adds points to the district when applying for grants.”
The 10-year infrastructure plan covers projected finances, a history of facility reviews and assessments, operations, maintenance and construction plans.
Each construction project is evaluated against the following criteria:
• Integrity of the structure; including structural soundness, protection from the elements/weather, appearance of the structure and efficient operations of the plant/building.
• Safety, includes fire-life safety and Americans with Disabilities Act issues.
• Maintain or enhance the educational programs and extracurricular activities.
• Fulfillment of life expectancy.
In addition, the school board has approved six more criteria which is used for major construction projects or for items using Secure an Advanced Vision for Education funding:
• Documented past or current need with rationale.
• Cost — relationship to prior estimate; and if it’s a newly prioritized project, how and when will the project be funded?
• Opportunity — has an opportunity become available to the district, which aligns with infrastructure needs of the district? Have mitigating circumstances developed due to updated information that may align an opportunity with a current project or district goal?
• Emergency — Has an act of nature, student need, outdated equipment or the inability to repair current facilities/systems moved a project to a higher priority?
• Regulations — Do current of future regulatory obligations dictate consideration of a project?
• Identify positives and negatives of the proposal.
In addition to the beginning of the FHS project, the district is working on the softball field dugout renovations this year.
“Basically, all other projects scheduled in this fiscal year are completed,” said McElwee.
This school year, fiscal year 2014, has an infrastructure budget of $1.02 million without including the high school project. That cost begins to be budgeted in the following two years, fiscal years 2015 and 2016.