Board discusses high school’s aging HVAC system
In the wake of voters not supporting a tax increase to pay for a new high school during a special election on June 26, the Woodford County Board of Education began talks Monday about options for improving or replacing the aging HVAC system at Woodford County High School.
“It’s running really well right now,” said Philip Lowery, district HVAC technician. He said the most important pieces of equipment in the high school’s water-sourced, closed loop heat pump system are its cooling tower, pumps and a boiler during the winter.
An initial quote to replace the system’s cooling tower was $68,000 and a repair (removing rust) would cost around $12,000.
Lowery said installing a new heat pump system would be challenging because of limited ceiling space in classrooms. Also, a replacement project could not be completed over a summer and therefore would have to occur in portions of the high school building during the school year.
Bus driver shortage
Woodford County – like other school districts across the state – continues to have a bus driver shortage as a new school year approaches. Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith said Woodford County schools is currently four or five drivers short, with at least two going through training to become drivers. “We have had some resignations and retirements over the summer,” she added, “and we still need bus drivers.”
Director of Transportation Kay Penn has been actively working to recruit drivers and the district has advertised for drivers, Smith said.
“We’ve not been fully staffed since I’ve been here in six years for bus drivers,” she said. Knowing a shortage exists, board Chair Ambrose Wilson IV told Smith and Superintendent Scott Hawkins, “Whatever we can do to help, let us know.”
With expenditures of $4.164 million in June, the district ended the month with a general fund cash balance of $8.348 million, according to Chief Operating Officer Amy Smith’s financial report. The higher-than-normal expenditures resulted from having two payrolls in June – instead of the usual one, she explained.
Overall, the district ended June with a total cash balance of $10.838 million, with expenditures of $4.985 million and revenues of $2.195 million, Smith reported to the board.