D-428 board OKs new cooling unit for Brooks

September 5, 2018

DEKALB – The DeKalb District 428 School Board unanimously approved funding Tuesday night to buy a new chiller for Brooks Elementary School during their regular meeting in DeKalb.

However, Brooks’ students will have to sweat out the tail end of the summer months without air conditioning while the school searches for a viable unit.

“It’s not ideal because we don’t have AC,” said Tammy Carson, the district’s director of facility operations, who brought the proposal before the board.

Carson said that although the majority of the school is without cool air, the school’s media center and main office suite do have working air conditioning provided by rooftop units, giving students and staff alike a small oasis from the heat.

The school decided after a discussion that in the event of extreme heat, parents will be able to pick their students up before the close of the school day, Carson said.

The current unit failed after about 20 years of service, equivalent to about an average chiller’s life expectancy.

The school will be bidding on new units in September, and will bring their recommendation before the board in October. The new chiller will be installed during the winter and is expected to be ready to fend off heat in the spring.

Alongside the district’s chief technology officer, Ben Bayle, Carson also presented a more expensive plan to replace all of the school’s Alpha Control panels, which communicate with the school’s heating and cooling systems.

That purchase will cost $280,000, with $140,000 being paid for through ComEd rebates. An additional $50,000 will come from a board-approved budget expansion for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The purchase of the new chiller will help pay for the control panels as well, with $11,000 being provided by the Brooks Chiller Replacement Life Safety Budget. The remaining $79,000 will be drawn from district funds.

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