Blue Earth Area School District is spending $10,000 to have the condition of its school buildings evaluated.
School Board members approved a proposal from ISG of Mankato for facilities planning and pre-referendum services.
In the past, Superintendent Mandy Fletcher has said the K-7 building, which has portions that are nearly 100 years old, needs plumbing repairs that will cost an estimated $1.2 million.
“It really can’t wait to be put off much further,” she says. “A lot of the pipes are so corroded that you can’t even get a pencil through them.”
Board member Mark Franta says air conditioning (HVAC) at the high school is a costly concern that could cost as much as $6 million.
The district’s facilities committee has held meetings with a residents representing the five cities in the School District to gather input.
“Ideas have been floated about possibly building a new elementary school out by the high school if the total upgrades on the K-7 structure began to approach the costs of building new,” says Franta.
The facilities committee is also looking at other upgrades, says Franta, that could add up to “tens of millions of dollars.”
At Monday night’s board meeting, Fletcher is expected to give a facility planning update and the facilities committee will have a report.