The Lexington School Board approved a quote from Boiler Chiller Systems for an $85,880 upgrade to the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system at Lexington Middle School during their meeting Monday night.
Bo Berry, director of buildings, grounds and transportation for the district, noted the Middle School HVAC controls have not worked properly since the system was installed and they have struggled to correct a multitude of computer-related problems.
Berry noted they researched firms who had repaired systems similar to Lexington’s and found Boiler Chiller Systems. “The company does work world-wide and is based in Omaha,” said Berry. “They will perform upgrades to the hardware and computer system, including a trouble shooting aspect. We will have a lot tighter control on how the system runs.”
School board president Mike Dowling added, “With these upgrades the system is projected to pay for itself in three years.”
Under other new business the board ratified the district’s donation of old band uniforms to the Cambridge School District earlier this summer.  Superintendent John Hakanson noted a contact was made with Cambridge through a former Lexington student now teaching there and donation of all 200 of the uniforms was accepted.
“That school was elated and we avoided the need to find a place to store them,” said Hakanson.
The board also approved the sale or disposal of three pieces of athletic rehabilitation equipment no longer needed by the district.
As required by state statute the district safety committee met Aug. 7 to review and update the 2018-19 building safety and security plan. The board approved the plan with the only major change being the addition of a process to reunify children with parents in the event of an evacuation.
Hakanson noted each building has a plan for what to do during a fire drill, tornado warning, bomb threat and active shooter situation. Each building has a safety team, crisis team and staff members certified or trained for CPR and use of an Epi Pen, nebulizer and defibrillator.
The board also approved an updated set of five-year goals for academics, professional development, district finances and facilities, as discussed at the recent board retreat.
The newest goal calls for exploring additional opportunities for students to practice and prepare for the ACT. The district also maintains a goal of achieving a 10 percent increase in the number of students proficient in math, science and language arts assessments among those who have attended LPS for two consecutive years.
Reports from administrators noted the 2018-19 school year was off to a good start. A lot of training sessions for new teachers were crammed into three days with more training ahead for the new reading program and at the middle school for working with the iPads.
Berry noted the new stadium lights are up and were expected to be operational on Wednesday. In addition, he reported the district had just received notification they would receive a $48,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Quality to help defray the cost of a new school bus.  Money for the grant came from fines the Volkswagen Company paid for their fraudulent exhaust systems.