Lakeville Area Public Schools’ construction projects were full steam ahead this past summer, with projects ranging in size from $1,000 to $1.3 million in improvements at schools throughout the district.
Most of the projects were planned deferred maintenance work, funded by the state governed Long Term Facilities Maintenance program, but it also included smaller projects such as reconnecting all of the elementary school kilns to support the re-established art program, which was approved by the Board of Education over a year ago.
“We had close to 70 projects take place this summer, with a majority being repairs that needed to be done and the replacement of items that were at the end of their life,” said Sara Guyette, director of facilities and plant planning for the district.
The largest project the district tackled was the mechanical system replacements at McGuire Middle School, which included two new
high efficiency boilers, water heaters, and building controls and software. Another large project included replacing carpet at Lakeville
South High School, Cherry View and Oak Hills elementaries.
“The district is moving to carpet tile that has an antimicrobial agent and integral backing. This means that the carpet is more resistant to bacteria and we don’t need to use adhesive for installation, which is all-around better for our indoor air quality,” said Guyette.
The district also focused on projects to save energy. Eastview Elementary received LED exterior lights to conserve energy, in addition to receiving a new upper parking lot which was also redesigned slightly to improve safety at drop-off and pick-up times. Impact Academy at Orchard Lake and Cherry View elementaries will be the next to receive exterior LED building light replacements.
“We will see a cost savings on electrical bills and will be doing more LED conversions in the coming years to save the district operating costs,” said Guyette.
Lakeville Area Public Schools is always planning ahead and looking for opportunities to make buildings more efficient and save money long term. Facilities and Plant Planning has a database that tracks almost every building component throughout the district so it knows when it is coming up for replacement. It also focuses on getting the longest life out of items, with staff repairing and maintaining components to ensure they last as long as they can.
Overall, Guyette says she is pleased with the outcome of the projects this summer.
“It has been a successful construction season,” said Guyette. “The majority of our projects were finished on time and on or under budget — and that’s a win.”
As the district makes its way into fall, the Facilities and Plant Planning Department still has a few smaller projects on its list, but the main focus shifts to continuous maintenance and project planning for next summer.
“We try to do less invasive construction work during the school year, with the majority of projects outside or in non-public areas, such as mechanical rooms,” said Guyette. “The goal is to make construction work as non disruptive to student activities during the school year as possible. And, of course, safety of all of our building occupants is always a top priority year-round when planning construction.”
Next summer, the district will complete the carpet replacement at Lakeville South and a project at Lakeville North will replace the 25 year old lighting in the gymnasium and common spaces with LED fixtures and daylight sensors to save the district additional money on electrical costs.