School board reduces potential HVAC levy to $2.2-$2.5 million

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By Reed Anfinson
Swift County Monitor-News

Almost since the $26.3 million building levy referendum passed last August the District 777 Board of Education has been struggling with figuring out just how it can create enough space within the funds to address HVAC needs not included in the levy.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning were not included in the levy, but represents more than $5 million in potential work at the senior high school.

Some of the work is needed to replace systems and equipment that are more than 50 years old. Some of it is needed to ensure the comfort and health of students. And other work should be done as new construction takes place or the school district would be faced with tearing into newly remodeled spaces when it does eventually get to the work.

As it has struggled with the costs, the school board has had to weigh just how much of an appetite the district’s property owners, particularly farmers, have for additional taxes. It has also had to guess at whether or not luck will favor it over the next year or so if it leaves some of the work out of a proposed HVAC project.

It is also guessing a little as it waits to find out if bids for the major work that will be taking place in the next couple years is going to come in over budget, on budget, or under budget. If the bids come in lower than expected then it might have some funds for additional HVAC work...

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