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Dickinson School Board approves maintenance projects, canvasses vote

Dickinson Public Schools will spend around $5.1 million on maintenance projects this summer using existing funds.

Assistant Superintendent of DPS Keith Harris told the school board the plan is to utilize most of the district's $1.2 million building levy budget for maintenance work.

"We are budgeting it tight. We know that it's tight. Hopefully, we have a contingency there that would make up for an unforeseen overruns," he said. "I believe that we'll be able to get it in for that and have some money for projects that will pop up throughout the year. We do have doors that go bad or roof leaks that we need to address."

Some of those projects include replacing Jefferson Elementary's gym roof and carpet and reconditioning the interior of Lincoln Elementary.

Additionally, $3.9 million had previously been approved and budgeted for by the school board. The largest of those projects include a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for Heart River Elementary, a new kitchen exhaust for Berg Elementary, a districtwide telephone upgrade and paving for a middle school parking lot.

The school board approved bids for the HVAC for $2.8 million and the telephone upgrade for $320,000, both of which came in under their budgeted amount.

The HVAC project is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020-2021 school year.

"We went to bid with the completion window of starting the Monday after school let out and being done two weeks before school starts. Because of the scope of that project, they told us that was next to impossible to do, but they were willing to try it," Harris said.

However, some of the equipment that was needed was backordered. Because of that and the large scope of the project, Harris said the district decided to break it into two parts.

"They'll do a lot of the ductwork and tunnel work this summer and get the equipment ordered now so that it gets plenty of time in case it's backordered; we can guarantee it will be on site and then they'll complete the mechanical portion of that project the following summer," he said.

Also at its meeting, the school board canvassed the vote for the bond referendum. An additional 20 absentee votes were counted — 13 no, 7 yes. The official vote count stands at 2,083 for and 2,716 against.

The board has asked the high school administration to get feedback from no voters to gain a better understanding of why the referendum failed.