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Albert Lea Area Schools. Mechanical Systems Assessment and Recommendations 5/16/2011. Background & Process to Date. Six of the district’s buildings are operating with mechanical systems that are beyond their typical life expectancy.

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Albert lea area schools

Albert Lea Area Schools

Mechanical Systems Assessment and Recommendations


Background process to date
Background & Process to Date

  • Six of the district’s buildings are operating with mechanical systems that are beyond their typical life expectancy.

  • 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.


  • 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. Plants will be replaced at Hawthorne and Brookside.

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


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

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

  • Spring 2011: Submit Applications to MDE

  • Spring 2011: Approval from MDE

  • Spring 2011: Board Approval of Bond Issuance

  • 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

Progress update
Progress Update

  • As of 5/12, the district has received positive review and comment for the project, and approval for QZAB bonds.

  • To support the HVAC upgrade, an energy efficiency upgrade for the summer of 2011 is being proposed which will help with the cost of items that are not health and safety fundable, such as boiler plants.

  • Additional work is being done this summer to abate some asbestos containing material at Brookside. This abatement is a scheduled part of the district’s capital plan, and has been focused on areas of the building that are in most need to support the HVAC project.

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

Tax impact
Tax Impact

  • With the QZAB federal bond allocation award, we are able to issue bonds at a very low interest rate which will drastically reduce the levy or tax impact for the tax payers. The levy increase is reduced from a 7.1% increase to a 3.4% increase on the overall levy.

  • The interest savings due to the QZAB award is over $3.5 million over the life of the bond.