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While the new Grant Wood Elementary School is being built in Bettendorf, attention has turned to an aging mechanical system that needs to be replaced at Bettendorf High School.

Various construction projects were discussed by the Bettendorf School Board on Monday, with the new one being the aged heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that runs through most of the high school.

Kathryn Duytschaever, with RTM Engineering, Davenport, briefed the board on the issues that exist through most of the high school, including the gyms, cafeteria, kitchens and classrooms around the 18th Street campus.

Walking into the high school is beautiful, Duytschaever said, but problems have arisen. The most serious issues date to the 1974 portion of the structure.

Four boilers in the building, for example, should be replaced, as the 1974 models have a lifespan of about 40 years. A generator, which is critical, she said, has been repaired to date, but also should be replaced.

"You have to keep that generator functional," she said.

The zone of the school that includes the kitchen, cafeteria and classrooms uses air handlers that have aged, dating to 1984. "These will die, soon," she said.

In addition, the BHS gym and pool areas are not air-conditioned, and Duytschaever said she understands why. However, in the gym, the humidity level from activities has led to mold growing in the ceiling tiles, and they need to be replaced.

"Should we Band-aid the issue, or replace the air handlers and add air conditioning?" she said. A interior bridge in the school has windows that freeze in cold weather; Duytschaever said heat could be introduced at this location.

"I can vouch for that bridge; it gets very unpleasant in cold weather," Paul Castro, board member said. 

Blake Burns, with Estes Construction, Davenport, discussed the need for a construction manager for the HVAC project, which he termed a construction project.

The board voted 6-1, with Mike Pyevich voting no, to spend up to $270,000 to finance the first three design and development phases of the project. The hope is to continue with the process in January 2018.

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