Fayette school board 11.18.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The estimated cost of a wind turbine at Fayette school’s campus came in much higher than expected, but superintendent Russ Griggs isn’t convinced the cost will run that high.

Griggs told school board members Monday that the district’s construction manager pegged the cost at $1.2 million, which is 20 percent above previous estimates.

The same construction firm estimated the cost of the new school much higher than the actual, Griggs said, and he wonders if the same thing will happen with the turbine.

Griggs said the district has a million dollars to devote to the project through a grant and leftover construction funds.

“We want to push it to a bid to see what the real numbers would be,” Griggs said. “I don’t think you really know until you push it to a bid.”

If the numbers still come in high, he said, alternatives could be considered such as a smaller turbine.

“I don’t want to give up on this,” he added.

He and treasurer Kelly Bentley are expecting a conference call with the construction manager to review funding sources and come up with solid figures.

Estimates for demolition of the old school buildings also came in high, Griggs said, and up to $200,000 remains in that fund. He would like to convince state officials to move that to the turbine fund.

Board member David Brinegar asked about the time needed to put a turbine into service.

Once the foundation is complete, Griggs said the tower and turbine can be erected in a day and the system commissioned within a week.

NEW TRUSTEE—The board will discuss the appointment of a new member at the Dec. 14 meeting, to take the place of the retiring Paula Schaffner. No one sought to fill the post in the recent election.

Any district resident willing to serve on the board should submit a letter of interest by Dec. 7. The board will discuss candidates at the Dec. 14 meeting (one week earlier than normal due to the holiday break) and appoint a new member in January.

The new trustee will serve a two-year term. After that, the position will return to the regular four-year term of office.

Griggs reminded the board that they wouldn’t be required to select someone from those who applied. They could go outside that pool of candidates to fill the position.

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