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Madison-Grant begins tackling project wishlist

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

FAIRMOUNT — The Madison-Grant School Board is looking into the possibility of repairing the roof of its junior and senior high school building as soon as this summer.

The board weighed its options following a presentation from Umbaugh and Associates on the cost of repairing the 100,000 square-foot roof before the remainder of their major projects begin. Joseph Ciancio, of Umbaugh and Associates, explained the school corporation could opt for a 16-year loan that can be paid off quickly with lower interest, but less flexibility in taking out loans for future projects, or a 19-year loan with more flexibility but higher interest.

Madison-Grant Superintendent Scott Deetz said it would be optimal to open the bidding for a roof repair contract sooner rather than later due to its necessity in future projects and the possibility of getting a better price if the repair is completed during the summer.

Ciancio said if he had a decision by mid-March, he could create the paperwork necessary for the project to be underway after school lets out.

This project would be part one to several other desired updates on the school board’s wish list as $5 million in debt is set to come off the corporation’s financial books. This includes the removal of carpet that covers some walls inside the junior and senior high school. The project has already begun as carpet on the walls inside the cafeteria was removed before winter break began.

The removal of the carpet due to an HVAC project provided an unforeseen effect in that it no longer insulated the sound in the cafeteria.

“It became a little loud in there, because the carpeting does provide some nice sound dampening,” Deetz said.

To remedy the issue, the school corporation ordered sound dampening board. Deetz said he and board member Steven Vore were excited to find that the company they worked with could print artwork onto the boards.

Four pieces of artwork created by students at Madison-Grant Junior and Senior High School were transferred onto the sound boards to be hung on the walls in the cafeteria in place of the original carpet. Deetz shared the project with the board and said he looked forward to students seeing it on their first day back from break on Tuesday.

Madison-Grant’s solar panel project met its deadline over winter break and is now producing electricity thought it did not pass initial inspection, according to Vore.

“We weren’t expected to be hit with this, but they had to do a phase lost test, where they put a piece of equipment around the actual connections to our building,” Vore said. “That first test failed. We didn’t know we were getting inspected that day, so we didn’t have the proper equipment.”

Vore said a successful second test was completed last week, and now they are awaiting a second appointment with an inspector.

Following the end of the project, Vore added the grounds that were “disrupted” during the solar panel installation would be repaired.

The board also approved a donation of $200 be accepted from First Baptist Church in Alexandria to settle outstanding lunch account balances for students at Summitville Elementary School.

The next Madison-Grant School Board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, inside the central office.