ELIDA — The Elida school board approved modifications to the middle school heating, ventilating and air conditioning system Tuesday to prevent potentially unsafe mold problems and to provide better cooling and humidity monitoring in the building.
Superintendent Joel Hatfield said while the work will not come cheap, it is still a financially responsible move to deal with the problem now. The modifications will cost the district between $65,000 and $75,000. However, the move will be a one-time fix rather than the district encountering expensive bandage solutions.
In September, the the district had to address a mold problem because of stagnant air in the building. A cleaning company had to be hired to come in and remove the mold.
“It was quite expensive,” Hatfield said. “The modifications should prevent future problems.”
Hatfield said that the problems have happened in two particular areas of the school, the main kitchen area and the gymnasium. Hatfield said when the school was built, insufficient ductwork did not provide enough cooling air to those two areas. To compensate, the doors near the kitchen area or the gymnasium would be left open to help keep it cool. Hatfield said the hot air from the outside would overwork the system even more.
“It created problems on the hot days,” Hatfield said. “It messed with the whole system”
Hatfield said the modifications will include running the proper ductwork into the main kitchen and gymnasium areas to keep it cooler. That ductwork will be tied into the existing system. Also, thermostat controls will be tied into those areas from temperature control.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.