Led by architectural design and construction management service McKinstry, the Marshall School District’s first of several facility improvement projects is set to kick off by the end of the month.

The school board committee of the whole approved a design-build agreement with McKinstry on July 14, which outlines the creation of a reading recovery center on the lower level of the Early Learning Center. McKinstry project director Sean Currie said the agreement was crafted alongside district officials and will be implemented once the project’s budget is worked out.

Currie said that demolition in the ELC should begin by the end of the month, with the full scope of the project planned to move ahead in the first week of November. Currie did note, however, that McKinstry is hoping to start construction sooner and is looking to select a vendor of building materials.

District business manager Bob Chady explained the construction in the ELC will not impede learning during school hours, as the lower level of the building does not feature many educational spaces.

District facility improvement projects that McKinstry is set to pursue in the future include building entrance security upgrades, an addition of a garage in the ELC, an expansion of the high school’s technology education learning spaces, and an upgrade of the middle school’s restrooms.

The school board committee of the whole also selected McKinstry to conduct a detailed engineering study of the district’s buildings. The study will serve to identify if there are any possible indoor air quality improvements in the buildings, with McKinstry looking to do so in a five-stage project plan.

First, McKinstry will review the district’s actions to date with regards to its heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. Then, it will audit the district’s HVAC airflows, dampers and controls.

Next, McKinstry will review certain items that might affect outdoor air quality and then it will review HVAC filtration efficiencies and maintenance. Finally, McKinstry will put together a report and will identify action steps.

The board also:

• Discussed a student ridership system that the district is looking at, which would consist of a barcode scanner that logs when students board and depart school buses. Chady said the program is estimated to cost about $8,000 per year and that parents would be able track the travel status of their kids using a mobile application.

• Authorized up to $62,500 for purchasing a vehicle that is capable of snow plowing and that is equipped with a dump box.

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