ALEXANDRIA – Playground updates, bathroom renovations, new gymnasium flooring and boiler upgrades are just some of the projects from last summer that Wade Nibbe discussed at the Monday, March 21 meeting of the Alexandria School Board.
Nibbe, the director of buildings and grounds for District 206, told school board members that things are going well with all the projects his team has been working on and they are getting ready for spring and summer.
Some of the projects that have been completed include the following:
Voyager Elementary School Playground Updates and Preschool Center Playground Relocation. Wood chips were dropped off at Voyager, which are ADA compliant, Nibbe said.
The girls’ and boys’ bathrooms at Garfield Elementary School have been updated with new sinks and toilets. Nibbe said the new sinks are now ADA compliant. Also, the boilers have been replaced at Garfield, which he says will operate much more efficiently.
Voyager Elementary also received an upgrade to its boilers, which are more efficient and will save the district money.
A new multi-surface gymnasium floor has been installed in the gymnasium, which also serves as the dining hall, at Miltona Science Magnet School. Nibbe said it’s rubberized and not only will it wear well, he said it cleans up really well too.
Schools in Garfield, Miltona and Carlos have all been fitted with LED lighting, which Nibbe says will save on the district’s electricity bill.
At Alexandria Area High School, the locker room floors were updated to epoxy coated floors and the sports hallway floor was also upgraded. Additionally, the new mural has been installed on both sides of the sports wing hallway. Nibbe said the mural “really spruce up the boring hallway.”
Nibbe also talked about construction projects at both Discovery Middle School and Woodland Elementary School and that they appear to be completed on schedule. He said there were issues with supply chain issues, but they had it sorted.
“Overall, it looks like we should be hitting our targets,” Nibbe said.
Upcoming projects approved
School District 206 business manager Trevor Peterson asked the board to approve the 2022-23 capital improvement projects, which total nearly $3.7 million.
He talked about some of the bigger projects, including replacing the high school’s wooden stair railings with aluminum or steel. He said there is significant wear and tear on the wooden railings in the cafeteria and common area.
Parking lot work at Carlos, Discovery and Miltona includes pothole filling and overlay work.
New secure entrances are being considered for Garfield and Carlos, and repairs to the exterior pillars and roof of the bus waiting area at Voyager are also being considered. Peterson said there was a drainage issue that was causing problems with the pillars.
There are also technology upgrades, repairs, licenses and purchases that are part of the capital requests that total around $1.44 million.
Peterson explained the process. First, it calculates how much revenue there is and now how much the district can spend. Then the projects are reviewed and a list of priorities is established. He works closely with the management team and the buildings and grounds teams of each building to find out what the needs and wants are. He schedules site visits to each school with Nibbe, then the budget and facilities committee reviews — line by line — each item.
He said the district typically plans about 18 months ahead, but capital improvement projects are reviewed for both five years and 10 years. However, he said it is difficult to determine what facility needs will be so far apart.
As for revenue that helps pay for all projects, Peterson said there are at least four different sources of revenue: working capital assistance, working capital levies, long-term and maintenance fees, and the general fund. The estimated total revenue to cover the projects is approximately $3.7 million.