Heating and cooling upgrades may soon be coming to both the Anamosa High School and Strawberry Hill Elementary after plans for the projects were approved at the district’s Nov. 15 board meeting.

Dwight Schumm with Design Engineers out of Cedar Rapids was on hand to brief district officials about the scope of the project.

At the high school, the plan calls for expanding the geothermal system where it isn’t, to places like the gym, commons and kitchen, replace areas where the equipment has reached the end-of-life stage, like the media room and office, and build an approximately 40’x50’ building to house the necessary mechanical equipment. The goal for that building is to leave enough extra space so that if the planned future gym expansion happens, there’s room to include the necessary equipment there.

At the elementary, the plan is to get cooling to areas that don’t have it, like the gym, replace end of life equipment or equipment that’s nonfunctioning.

The total project cost is estimated to be just under $3 million, funded through the district’s Physical Plant and Equipment Levy and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, federal COVID-19 relief program. Schumm said it’s hard to predict at the moment what impact the supply chain issues would have on the project’s cost, if any.

“We’ve been seeing projects come in on budget and over budget. It’s kind of hard to predict,” he said.

Superintendent Larry Hunt said there will be some alternative items built into the contract in case the project’s prices get too rich.

The plan calls for the contract to be bid out as one contract. The hope is for bids to be received next month, three months of mobilization so digging can begin once frost is out of the ground and the expectation is the contractors will be ready to go once the school year is out to meet the completion date of Aug. 5.

“One thing we’re being very clear about in the bid documents is they need to get all their ducks in a row, so as soon as school’s out, they can hit the ground running,” Schumm said.

With the plans gaining approval, Schumm was set to bid the project the following day and a public hearing was set for the project at the board’s Dec. 20 meeting.

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