Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The Mt. Pleasant school district is taking steps toward making sure its heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are operating at peak efficiency.
Superintendent John Henriksen said that the district is planning on updating HVAC systems in the district.
“On some of the systems, like the system at the high school when we opened it up in 1999, there have been tweaks and adjustments made to the system over a 22-year period,” Henriksen said. “The idea of retro commissioning on any of those systems would be — over the years where there’s been tweaks made, adjustments made, maybe dampers adjusted and suctions adjusted — where are we at right now?
“Let’s get them recommissioned so they’re working most efficiently and most appropriately so that we’re bringing the right amount of outside air in and exhausting the right amount of used air.”
He explained that retro-commissioning is bringing the systems back to the appropriate level of adjustment and efficiency.
Henriksen said that a contractor will look at air pressures inside the buildings compared to outside the buildings.
“Is the pressure too high or too low? Are dampers in the air handling units and duct work working like they should?” he said. “For example, the thermostat says it’s 78 degrees, and we need to cool the room a bit. Is the unit kicking on at 78 degrees and bringing it down to the appropriate temperature?
“Is everything synchronized the way they need to be?”
The update will be done in five of the district’s six schools: the high school, middle school, Harlan Elementary, Van Allen Elementary and Lincoln Elementary. Work will not be done at Salem Elementary School.
“Salem is such a little building, and the system seems to be working pretty well,” Henriksen said. “We did the air conditioning three years ago. We didn’t think we needed to retro commission that one.”
The district is working with Carl A. Nelson Construction out of Burlington on the project.
“They put the specifications together for a request for proposal,” Henriksen said. “We received two proposals back: System Works out of West Des Moines and IMEG out of Rock Island, Illinois. We have not awarded the contract yet.”
He added that Carl A. Nelson is currently reviewing the proposals and checking references.
Ideally, the district would like to have the project completed in mid-fall.
“We would like to have it done before the middle of October, but that’s kind of a pinch on the contractor,” Henriksen said. “We’ll see what their timelines are.”