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Edinburgh schools to consider $2 million in upgrades

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The Edinburgh school district needs to replace a broken boiler and renovate decades-old locker rooms at its middle and high school building, and officials plan to borrow money to make those and other upgrades.

The school board unanimously approved borrowing up to $2

million for renovations and upgrades at the middle and high school as well as for technology upgrades, including new phones and computers, throughout the district.

The school district is nearly finished repaying money borrowed about 10 years ago for upgrades and maintenance, including technology updates, new lights and heating and air conditioning repairs at the elementary school. School officials believe the tax rate won’t increase when the school district borrows more money, but the rate also won’t decrease when the old debt is paid off, interim Superintendent William Glentzer said.

The school district also could use property tax money it collects every year for building maintenance to help pay for some of the upgrades, but that money is limited due to property tax caps and officials would prefer to save that money, he said.

Next, school officials need to decide what projects will be done.

“We’ve got multiple things we’ve (got to) look at. We’ll sit down and determine what our priorities are going to be, and we’ll stretch our dollars as far as we can to upgrade our facilities,” Glentzer said.

The largest project likely will be upgrades and renovations to three locker rooms at the middle and high school building. He said the locker rooms haven’t been updated since 1952 and have walls and plumbing that need to be repaired and possibly replaced.

The school also needs to reroute heating and air conditioning leading to the locker rooms.

Currently the heat doesn’t always reach the locker rooms, meaning sometimes the temperature doesn’t reach above 53 degrees, and none of the three locker rooms is air-conditioned, Glentzer said.

Edinburgh also wants to purchase new phones to be used throughout the school district and computers for its special education and alternative education programs.

This week, administrators will meet with the Indiana State Police as part of an annual review of security procedures. Glentzer wants to be sure all of the schools’ entrances are as secure as they can be and whether any security upgrades are needed.

“We want to be proactive, not reactive,” he said.

Edinburgh had an architectural firm conduct a building study in 2010 that showed what upgrades were needed for the locker rooms.

The study also recommended updates to some of the buildings’ heating and air conditioning systems, and this year a crack was found in one of the four boilers at the middle and high school building, Glentzer said.

Architectural firms are creating preliminary plans to show how an updated locker room and other upgrades could look.

After administrators review the plans, they’ll decide on what architect to hire. Glentzer hopes that  will happen next month.

With more detailed plans, Edinburgh can create a timeline for when the projects can be completed, he said.

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