by Tom Lee
ISD 748 interim superintendent
As another school year is off to a great start, I wanted to take a moment to share with all of you an update about a project for our school district.
As many of you know, Riverview Intermediate School has an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system largely original to the building’s 1969 date of opening. The air-handling system was identified as a project that would need to be addressed within about 10 years of the building bond (2016).
Riverview’s indoor air-handling system is antiquated and near the end of its expected lifespan. Because the project would significantly improve the indoor air quality, it qualifies for Long Term Facilities Maintenance (LTFM) funding, a tool provided by the Minnesota Legislature in 2016 that gives school districts and their school boards the options to:
One: Pay as you go (which is how we address most of our deferred maintenance issues).
Two: LTFM bonding to be used only on specific projects that qualify for health and safety. The bonding can be approved by the school board and does not require a vote of the public.
In May 2021, the school board heard from construction professionals that the estimated cost for the project was approximately $16 million. In June 2023, the board was informed that the project was estimated at $20 million. Because this is a need, it clearly is a “pay now or pay more later” scenario.
We have created a video about Riverview’s air handling system project. It is available, along with additional information, on our www.isd748.org/construction page or via www.isd748.org/IndoorAirQuality.
If you have any questions or concerns about this project, I would be happy to talk with you.