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By Caroline Downs
“If we had to split another class, right now between the buildings, we have only one room that’s not a classroom,” Kenmare Public School Superintendent Duane Mueller told an audience of 20 teachers and patrons who attended a second public forum to discuss a building project proposed for the district.
Project consultants Doug Larson of JLG Architects and John Huenink of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company led the August 20th discussion again, beginning with their analysis of the district’s building needs and deferred maintenance projects expected through the next 10 to 15 years.
Huenink explained the deferred maintenance list for each building included projects that should be addressed within the next one to three years, four to six years, and seven to 15 years, labeled Priority I, II and III projects respectively. Those projects involve a variety of items, such as roof repair and replacement, flooring, electrical, lighting and other typical maintenance issues in a school.
Kenmare Elementary School earns “F” rating
“For the elementary school, we’re looking at a total of about $993,000 in deferred maintenance costs,” he said. According to Huenink, the Priority I projects were estimated at $685,000, with the Priority II projects at $308,000 and the Priority III projects at $217,000.
He noted the nearly $700,000 in Priority I needs was a “trigger for remodeling or building new,” calling the current building inadequate for accessibility codes and current educational program demands.
In fact, based on an assessment of several variables, the Kenmare Elementary School would receive a grade of “F”. “A grade like that is indicative of the age of the building,” he said. “We’re looking at items like the site, electrical, ventilation, ADA requirements, security, technology, etc.”
He continued, “We are NOT saying the building is unsafe, but that it’s lacking in a number of things because of its age.”
KHS receives “C” grade
A similar analysis for Kenmare High School yielded a “C” grade, according to Huenink.....