mau projects

Nearly $6 million in grant-funded HVAC upgrades are proposed for Mount Anthony Union School District schools.

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BENNINGTON — Mount Anthony Union School District buildings could have nearly $6 million in heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements in place for the fall 2023 school year.

The MAU Board on Wednesday approved a proposal from DuBois & King, headquartered in Randolph, to design what is being called the “HVAC Optimization” project for both the MAU High School and Middle School buildings.

Funding for the projects is expected to come from the state and federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) pandemic relief allocations to Vermont.

The firm’s proposal was selected from among three submitted for the engineering design and construction administration work, after a recommendation from Michael Briggs of Centerline Architects, who is acting as project manager on behalf of the school district.

“DuBois & King is a known firm and has previous work experience on both MAU campuses,” Superintendent James Culkeen told the MAU Board.

He said the project concept received approval from the state Agency of Education, which allows the next project step, which is the engineering design. He told board members that a preliminary project timetable calls for design work to be complete by this fall, the construction bidding process completed by Jan. 31, 2023, and for construction to be completed by August 2023.

Culkeen said parts of the overall project may include testing and balancing of mechanical systems (with improved filtering/disinfection); indoor air quality monitoring systems; installation of air conditioning/air tempering throughout buildings, and installation and upgrading building HVAC management systems.

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Managing of the systems would be computerized, he said.

The superintendent said conceptual estimated costs including design, construction, permitting, contingency, and other costs, are $4,270,000 for the high school, and $1,695,000 for the middle school, which is more than three decades newer than MAUHS.

The high school on Park Street opened in 1968 and the middle school on East Road in 2004.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

The report to the district from Centerline Architects concluded, “We recommend that [Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union] award these projects to Dubois & King. Not only are their fees the most competitive, but their proposal was the most comprehensive and thoughtful. For instance, they have included whatever structural engineering/analysis might be necessary for placing equipment on existing rooftops. Similarly, they mention working with Efficiency Vermont. The other two firms excluded such efforts.”

The proposals from the three firms also included design services estimates for similar work at Bennington Elementary School, Woodford Hollow School, Molly Stark Elementary School, Monument Elementary School, Pownal Elementary School and Shaftsbury Elementary School.

However, Culkeen said those proposals will be considered by the Southwest Vermont Union Elementary District Board and the supervisory union.

Jim Therrien writes for Vermont News and Media, including the Bennington Banner, Manchester Journal and Brattleboro Reformer. Email jtherrien@benningtonbanner.com.

Reporter/editor

Jim Therrien reports for the three Vermont News and Media newspapers in Southern Vermont. He previously worked as a reporter and editor at the Berkshire Eagle, the Bennington Banner, the Springfield Republican, and the former North Adams Transcript.


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