Oswego School District to spend $2 million on its high school buildings

Administration moves to begin catching up on deferred building maintenance projects

Oswego High School, 4250 Route 71, Oswego

OSWEGO – The Oswego School District 308 administration is moving quickly to begin catching up on some deferred building maintenance projects and setting the stage for an on-going schedule program of repairs and upgrades for its facilities.

In January, the Oswego School Board approved an $18 million bond issue designed to finance the maintenance program.

On Feb. 28, District 308 Director of Operations Rob Allison outlined for school board members a $2 million project for replacing mechanical systems at both Oswego and Oswego East high schools.

At OEHS, the project is to include replacement of the chillers, which provide air-conditioning for the building, as well as the cooling tower, which is essentially a heat-exchanger that removes heat from the water that is discharged from a condenser.

The existing chillers and cooling tower date to 2005, Allison said.

Meanwhile, OHS is to receive new boilers to heat the building, replacing units that were installed in 2002.

From among eight contractors seeking to perform the work, the low bid of $2,095,000 was submitted by Helm Mechanical, with offices in Westmont and Freeport.

At the direction of the school district, the contractors broke down their bids into three components.

Helm bid $1,147,000 on the OEHS chillers, $140,000 on the OEHS cooling tower and $518,000 on the OHS boilers. Allison is recommending that the school board award the contract to Helm.

Oswego East High School, Harvey Road, Oswego

Allison said the district plans to install the OHS boilers this summer and the OEHS chillers and cooling tower in the fall. The school board is expected to approve the contract with Helm later this month.

The high school mechanical projects will be the first of a six-year capital improvement program financed with the $18 million bond issue.

District 308 Chief Financial Officer John Petzke said many school buildings are in need of new roofs, heating and air-conditioning units, parking lot repairs and other basic infrastructure projects.

The $18 million in revenue from the bonds, which were sold on Jan. 25, is being directed into the district’s working cash fund.

For the typical home valued at $300,000, the bond sale will result in an additional $54 per year on the owner’s property tax bill over the life of the six-year repayment period, Petzke said.

It is required that the district spend 85% of the bond revenue within three years and all of the rest after six years, Petzke said.

The district’s Finance and Facility Committee, composed of administrators, school board members and residents, is working now to identify maintenance projects.

Allison presented the board with a schedule for replacing boilers and chillers at several school buildings stretching out for the next few years.