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Albert Lea Area Public Schools. Mechanical Systems Assessment and Recommendations 1/31/2011. Background & Process to Date. Six District buildings were originally constructed between 1951 and 1967. Based on the expected life of a building, these buildings are the “same age.”

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Albert lea area public schools

Albert Lea Area Public Schools

Mechanical Systems Assessment and Recommendations


Background process to date
Background & Process to Date

  • Six District buildings were originally constructed between 1951 and 1967. Based on the expected life of a building, these buildings are the “same age.”

  • The mechanical HVAC systems within these buildings are primarily original and are beyond their typical life expectancy.

  • Due to the similarity in the ages of these buildings, a concern is that the systems may “all fail at once.”

Background process to date1
Background & Process to Date

  • Building systems within these facilities are beginning to require regular attention and associated resources that exceed normal on-going maintenance.

  • Maintenance and repair costs associated with the current systems are continuing to increase in an effort to keep buildings operating and reasonably comfortable.

  • Significant work has been required at Hawthorne, Brookside, and Sibley in order to begin this heating season.

Background process to date2
Background & Process to Date

  • A survey of mechanical HVAC systems currently serving these of these buildings was conducted in August 2010. Results of this survey were presented in October 2010 to the District.

  • The goal of this survey was to determine the status and condition of the existing systems and to develop a plan to address future needs associated with the systems.

  • By taking a proactive approach to addressing needs associated with these systems, the District hopes to eliminate the risk of major failures at numerous buildings occurring simultaneously.


  • Original steam boiler plant in each building except Halverson

  • Building-wide air conditioning at Lakeview and Brookside

  • Original unit ventilators serve most classrooms and other spaces

  • Temperature controls are pneumatic (air) with a limited front end scheduling system - very challenging to monitor and control temperature - no means of monitoring ventilation

  • Original units were not designed to provide ventilation and temperature control to today’s standards

  • Units and system components are beyond typical useful life expectancy


  • Distribution piping is in marginal condition in many locations

  • Many building floor plans have been altered , impacting the ability to control and monitor each area effectively


  • Primary focus of the recommended project(s) would be to increase indoor air quality and ventilation rates to current MN State Code/ASHRAE 62 ventilation standards, and to replace old equipment that is not operating appropriately

  • Work would include replacement of the existing unit ventilators, air handlers, and heating equipment that are not currently capable of providing ventilation to minimum standards

  • In most buildings, the existing boiler plants would continue to serve as the primary heating source, but would be converted to hot water for increased efficiency and controllability

  • Opportunities to increase energy efficiencies within each facility will be identified and integrated into the project


  • Hawthorne’s boiler plant will need to be replaced—in current condition life expectancy is less than five years

  • Specific attention will be placed on any systems or components that are able to be rebuilt and remain in use wherever appropriate

  • New systems could include variable air volume control or displacement ventilation, variable speed pumping, and Direct Digital Controls to allow for optimization of all system operations

  • Each space would have separate environmental control to ensure proper ventilation rates to all spaces tied to a main DDC system

Anticipated budgets
Anticipated Budgets

Hawthorne: $2,400,000

Brookside: $3,200,000

Southwest: $3,400,000

Sibley: $2,000,000

Halverson: $2,000,000

Lakeview: $1,900,000

Project Total: $14,900,000

Funding Source: Alt Facilities Bond, Capital Funds

Proposed timeline
Proposed Timeline

  • Winter 2010/2011: Present Concepts to Board for Review

  • Winter 2010/2011: Refine Work Scopes and Project Phasing

  • Spring 2011: Submit Applications to MDE

  • Summer 2011: Approval from MDE

  • Summer 2011: Complete Applicable

  • Summer 2012: Construction for Phase 1: Hawthorne and Brookside

  • Summer 2013: Construction for Phase 2: Southwest and Sibley

  • Summer 2014: Construction for Phase 3: Halverson and Lakeview

Next steps
Next Steps

  • Refine / Finalize Scopes of Work as Required

  • Finalize Funding Strategies

  • Formally Approve Plan

  • Retain Project Team Members

  • Initiate Project Development Work Including all MDE Requirements & Interface and Detail Energy Analysis