The Sun Prairie Area School District (SPASD) will spend no more than $718,753 to replace 68 windows at Patrick Marsh and Prairie View middle schools, thanks to action taken Monday, Dec. 16 by the Sun Prairie School Board.

The board acted on a recommendation made by SPASD Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Sukow, who said the replacement has been recommended since the 2015 Districtwide Facility Needs study performed by Epstein Uhen Architects.

But because the study ranked the replacement of the windows just beyond the range of priority, the replacement was pushed down the list, according to Sukow, who said in a report to the board that the windows at Patrick Marsh Middle School (PMMS) and Prairie View Middle School (PVMS) are original to their 1998 construction.

The wood framed windows with an operable lower pane are constructed of two layers of glass with an integrated blind system.

“Over time the blind systems have failed due to use, and they are not replaceable without taking the window apart to get at the internal systems, Sukow wrote in his report.

The weathering of the windows has caused the wood framing to start to rot. The outer window panes in the operable portion of the windows have started to slide out of the frames in many of the windows, resulting in at least 10 windows between the two schools being screwed shut.

In 2016, Sukow wrote, the SPASD experienced vandalism at PVMS, and the window contractor was not able to source a replacement operable window section to replace the broken window and a new, non-operable window was installed.

“It is also believed that due to shrinkage and rot, the insulation value of the windows is performing far below their design value,” Sukow wrote in the report.

Due to the number of windows that are in failure and the number of windows that are near failure, the decision was made to move the window replacements up the priority list to complete them in the summer of 2019.

“We engaged J.H. Findorff & Sons in March of 2018 to look into solutions for replacing the windows that were more energy efficient, were made of materials that would last longer and would be more maintenance-friendly,” Sukow wrote.

Working with two different vendors, SPASD evaluated three different products and the window assembly that met criteria was a non-operable one-inch storefront window assembly consisting of two pieces of quarter-inch glass with a half-inch air chamber in the middle.

The interior side of the window assembly contains an integrated blind assembly to encase the blinds within a third piece of glass, but allow the window assembly to be opened for maintenance to the blinds or to clean the windows.

“This is a big improvement over the existing system,” Sukow wrote.

But due to the time necessary to evaluate the options and lead times for the manufacturing of the window assemblies, the SPASD was unable to complete the project in the summer of 2019.

Instead of trying to finish the job during the school year or leave the windows unfinished, the decision was made to re-bid the project for completion in the summer of 2020.

Sukow brought the project forward now to assure the board that the SPASD will have materials and labor lined up to complete the job, and because there is a cost savings if the assemblies are ordered before Jan. 1, 2020.

Bids were solicited through Findorff to local glazing companies. Lake City Glass submitted a bid for a Wausau Windows spec window assembly for $199,475 per school, which also included an alternate for a Manko blind/window assembly for $272,410 per school. The other vendor to submit was Klein-Dickert who solicited a bid for $249,600 per school for the specified window assembly.

Sukow said upon inspection and evaluation of sample assemblies and submitted bids, the Wausau window/blind assembly from Lake City Glass was the selected bid.

According to Sukow, Findorff estimated $133,281 worth of work in materials and labor to demolish and remove the existing windows, masonry necessary to rebuild the windows, replace wood blocking and framing which the new windows will attach to and trim sills, caulking and flashing around the window opening and permits and fees.

Upon the recommendation from Sukow, Findorff also included in their proposal the cost of $199,475 per school from Lake City Glass to install 68 thermally broken anodized storefront window assemblies consisting of 1” of Low E Insulated Glass with a Wausau Window 1297 S.E.A.L blind assembly on the interior.

“We are proposing to carry an 8% contingency based on the total cost of the work and the relative unknown existing conditions where the windows have been failing. This brings the total estimate for this project at both schools to $718,753, excluding any city review or permitting fees which will be carried by the district,” Sukow wrote in his recommendation.

The board approval means the work is scheduled to begin after June 22, with an anticipated completion date is August 10. Sukow wrote the work will be completed alongside other Capital Maintenance projects being carried out as part of the 2016 referendum and Capital Maintenance projects from the 2019 referendum.

Board member Caren Diedrich asked about a price per window during the meeting, but Sukow said he wasn’t sure because some windows may require more work because of rotting frames or masonry work than other windows that are not.

Sukow also said the district has performed well on other capital items, including asphalt paving projects that were completed for less money than budgeted.

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