Ongoing heating and cooling system problems as well as landscaping issues at the new high has compelled School District 70 to withhold $2 million from the company that built the facility.
Project coordinator Jerry Linning confirmed that there have been issues with both of the HVAC systems but said it’s not out of the ordinary with a new building.
“It’s a normal occurrence and not something that is unusual,” Linning said. “I’m confident it will be remedied soon.”
At the beginning of the school year classrooms reported that the air was too hot.
The problem was rectified but now other classrooms are reporting that it’s too cold.
According to Linning, the issue is with the system’s air diffusers, which are located in each classroom.
The diffusers condition and ventilate air and distribute air flow.
New diffusers are being installed over the next few weeks as a solution to the issue Linning said.
A firm called CEP is doing the work. The firm is not being paid any extra to do the work but is instead working to the terms of the contract, he said.
CEP didn’t install the original system but officials are working closely with Yellowridge and other firms that were involved with designing and building the system, Linning said.
The issue was discovered over the summer after the final city inspection.
In August, with the issue unsuccessfully resolved the district opted to hold back $2 million from Yellowridge Construction and not sign off on an agreement that construction of the $60 million school was substantially complete.
Yellowridge is the lead contractor which oversaw the building of the new high school, and in turn hired subcontractors including the one that installed the heating and cooling systems.
The heating system isn’t the only problem.
The school’s landscaping is an issue as well and is part of the $2 million hold back.
According to Linning, Yellowridge was responsible for the landscaping for two years.
However, the News has learned that little to no landscaping was done.
Much of the front of the school bordering Roger Street is overgrown with weeds. And the trees planted on the western slope are dead or dying.
The issue disconcerted some students at the high school. When the students grew tired of looking at the overgrowth they sought to do something about it themselves.
Linning confirmed that he is in discussions with Yellowridge about followup care with the planting beds and trees, and that the company is going to plant new trees this fall.