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Prairie Grove School District 46 board to hear options on HVAC improvements

PRAIRIE GROVE – The options Consolidated School District 46 has for addressing stifling classrooms will be laid out at an upcoming special school board meeting.

Siemens Corporation will give a presentation on the different routes the district could take to improve its heating and cooling systems at both the elementary and junior high schools as well as the financial savings the district could see by improving its current air delivery systems.

The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the multiple-purpose room shared by the two schools. Attendees should use through the entrance to the elementary school, 3223 Route 176.

The presentation will not cost the district anything, and any improvements would require approval by the District 46 school board.

If the board decides to move ahead with the work, students and parents could see improvements as soon as next fall, depending on the cost and scope of the work recommended and ultimately approved, Superintendent Philip Bender has said.

Prairie Grove Elementary School was built in 1971, with additions added in 1975 and 1984 after consolidation with Burtons Bridge School District and enrollment continuing to climb. While a few classrooms and the office area have air conditioning, most of the building continues to have no air conditioning.

The junior high was added in 1999 and has both air conditioning and heating.

For the parts of the district without air conditioning, the heat and humidity levels can be virtually the same as the outdoors, Bender said, adding the district has not done temperature monitoring.

The District 46 school board has looked at the issue in the past but not taken any further action.

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