Tipp City schools approve heating fixes, face $1.2M roof replacement

‘We don’t have time to wait,’ on $300K in boiler repairs at Broadway and high school, business manager says.

The Tipp City Exempted Village School District is facing several major repair projects at three buildings with estimated costs of more than $1.5 million.

The Board of Education met in special session Friday afternoon to approve contracts for work on boiler projects at Broadway Elementary School and Tippecanoe High School.

The board earlier in the week heard about the series of facilities projects facing the district from Kim Hagen, district business operations manager.

At Broadway Elementary, two lines from a boiler go to the older and newer sections of the building The line going to the newer section of the building with the greatest use has a leak.

This pipe probably was installed around the 1950s or 1960s. The pipe is needed for heat to the newer section. Two options were explored, running the pipe underground or running it above ground. The proposals were for $204,978 for the underground option and $93,422 for above ground.

The board voted to pursue the above-ground line with payment to come from district permanent improvement funds.

The high school boilers also have issues, the district said. One is running but two are needed for continued operations. Another boiler has been ordered, at a cost of $217,482. The board formally approved the purchase, which will be paid using American Rescue Plan grant dollars.

“We don’t have time to wait,” Hagen said Nov. 7, telling board members to anticipate the special meeting that was held Friday.

All district boilers are routinely checked daily when in service and monitored over the summer, Hagen said. A leak in the high school boiler was addressed in the summer, but numerous internal issues also were found, requiring replacement.

The Broadway boiler pipe issue was found when the unit was turned on for colder weather in late October-early November.

The third project — the need for a new roof at Nevin Coppock Elementary School — is the most expensive of needs. “It is very pricey,” Hagen said.

Concerns about the building roof were first aired in July when repairs were estimated at $600,000 or more. Now the estimate is close to $1.2 million.

Superintendent Mark Stefanik said then that contractors who looked at the roof said added patching won’t be possible because of the number of patches already placed. Leaks at the time were causing concerns with ceilings in the building. Work was done to deal with those immediate issues.

The roof plan is detailed, and hopes are to have options reviewed and a plan implemented next summer, Hagen said.

Another issue was found with an oven in the kitchen at L.T. Ball Intermediate School. A temporary fix is in place until a new oven arrives, possibly in December. The cost of the new oven is $12,986.

“Right now, we are just struggling with getting things in in a timely manner. With this possible diesel fuel issue (shortage), it is also going to affect delivery of items,” Hagen said.

Board member Theresa Dunaway said it was “painful” to see a $1.2 million estimated cost for repairs to Nevin Coppock. That’s because the elementary school has been proposed for removal as part of past classroom construction plans proposed by the district.

Work toward a new classrooms plan will be underway following the board’s selection of Garmann Miller Architects. A district facilities committee has been reviewing possible options for construction of facilities, particularly elementary classrooms, working with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. With the hiring of the architects, the district will be forming a task force to help develop a facilities proposal and seek a bond issue, possibly later in 2023.

The architects have been updated on the status of the existing buildings, Stefanik said.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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