Prop S projects begin as part of summer maintenance

Prop S projects begin as part of summer maintenance
Posted on 08/12/2021
Forder Elementary HVAC/roof workMaintenance and construction crews worked hard this summer to upgrade and make repairs at schools across Mehlville School District, including the first projects funded following voter approval of Prop S earlier this year. Many schools had minor work done this summer, but several had large HVAC and roofing projects.



Forder Elementary School
The largest project completed this summer was the replacement of the heating, cooling and ventilation system at Forder Elementary School. Crews began working on removing the old system as soon as the school year ended in June.

“The systems on the rooftop are being replaced, as well as the boxes and thermostats in each of the classrooms, and the diffusers in the ceilings are being replaced,” said Russ Suda, mechanical supervisor. “We keep up preventative maintenance as much as we can, but there’s natural wear and tear on the system that starts to become expensive to fix.”
Forder Elementary HVAC work

Image: Forder Elementary underwent a complete HVAC renovation this summer.

HVAC upgrades are cyclical, and the equipment at Forder Elementary was last upgraded in 1994. The typical life cycle of an HVAC system is 20 years. If the system isn’t upgraded towards the end of its life cycle, it leads to costly repairs. The new HVAC system will have a positive impact on learning at Forder.

“Having an updated HVAC system at Forder is going to help all of our students and staff feel comfortable in their learning spaces,” said Dr. Whitney Maus, Forder Elementary principal. “This will help make sure students can focus on learning and not have to worry about outside factors like being too hot or too cold.”

This project was paid for using Prop S funding. John Cary Early Childhood Center, Beasley Elementary School, Rogers Elementary School and Mehlville High School are all slated for future HVAC replacement using Prop S funds.

Roof replacement
The other large project this year was roof replacement at schools across the district. The following locations underwent partial roof work this summer:

- John Cary Early Childhood Center (38 roof squares)
- Beasley Elementary School (325 roof squares)
- Blades Elementary School (114 roof squares)
- Forder Elementary School (67 roof squares)
- Oakville Middle School (357 roof squares)
- Mehlville High School (55 roof squares)
- District pool (108 roof squares)
OMS roof work
Image: Crews replaced 357 roof squares at Oakville Middle School.

Like HVAC work, roof work must be completed cyclically to avoid costly repairs and disruptions in learning, like leaky ceilings in classrooms.

“We replace roof squares on a 20-year cycle,” said Mike Gegg, director of facilities. “When you get to that point, you start to see more leaks, particularly when you have heavy rains.”

Roof work at Blades Elementary and Forder Elementary was paid for using Prop A funds. Work at John Cary Early Childhood, Beasley Elementary, Oakville Middle and Mehlville High were funded using Prop R. Bierbaum Elementary, Trautwein Elementary, Bernard Middle, Buerkle Middle,  Oakville Middle, Washington Middle and Oakville High are all scheduled to have portions of their roof replaced using funds generated from Prop A and Prop S within the next five years.

Oakville High School
In July, work began to make the baseball/softball field at Oakville High School safer. 

“Having one facility for both baseball and softball requires us to have a dirt infield,” said Becky Czuppon, Oakville High School athletic director. “We don’t have proper drainage to allow the water to run away, so that creates a thicker lip where the dirt and grass meet, which is a safety issue.”
 
This project is ongoing and is expected to be completed near the end of October.

“We are going to regrade and laser level the field, in addition to new drainage and new irrigation systems, and a new fence and backstop,” said Gegg. 
OHS baseball field
Image: Crews are expected to complete extensive safety improvements to the Oakville High School baseball/softball field near the end of October.

The project is being paid for using funds generated by Prop S. The baseball/softball fields at Mehlville High School are scheduled for similar safety upgrades through Prop S. That is a larger project since the baseball field will be relocated because of a storm drain in the outfield. Due to the high price of construction materials, there are plans to rebid that project for next summer.

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