A Sioux Falls contractor received the go-ahead on Monday from the Madison School Board to make improvements to the heating, ventilation and cooling system at the Madison Middle School.

G&R Controls of Sioux Falls was awarded a contract to install a new chiller and chiller pump and to perform other work at the middle school. The cost of renovations to MMS's HVAC system was calculated at $145,770.

Mitchell Brooks, business manager at the Madison Central School District, told the school board members that the contractor wants to work on the heating and cooling system in March and April, if weather cooperates with performing the project.

Centralized cooling systems in buildings use "chillers" which are basically giant air-conditioning units, but they work in a slightly different manner because of their large size.

The chillers generate chilled water that is used to provide air-conditioning in buildings. All buildings generate a lot of unwanted heat, whether it's solar heat produced by the sun beating down on roofs and walls or by heat generated from the people inside the structure and from the equipment they use. The unwanted heat needs removal to keep the people inside comfortable, but people should also reduce excess heat to make sure electrical and mechanical equipment is kept cool to avoid mechanical problems and breakdowns.

2019-20 calendar

The board members approved changes to the current school calendar that will add three class days to the spring schedule due to lost days that occurred earlier in the 2019-20 school year.

Superintendent Joel Jorgenson proposed adding April 13, Easter Monday and May 21-22 to the school schedule. Previously, the spring semester had ended on May 20.

Jorgenson said Madison lost three class days due to bad winter weather and fall flooding.

Personnel

The Madison School Board added several personnel changes regarding resignations and hirings to the agenda of Monday's meeting.

The school board members were asked to accept the resignation of Steve Millage, technology director, effective Feb. 28. Millage has accepted a position at Dakota State University. They were also asked to accept the resignation of Larry French, special-education bus driver, effective on Feb. 20.

The board members approved hiring Jon Forster, the current technology coordinator, as a temporary technology director for the next four months and one week, paying him $20,002 in wages. They also approved hiring Tara Liesinger as a special-education teacher at Madison High School at $43,200, replacing Lora Milne, and hiring Staci Thomsen as a speech-language pathologist at Madison Elementary School at $49,300, replacing Julia Schlesser.

The board members approved personnel changes already on the agenda that included hiring Audriana Haverland as a weekend custodian at $13.30 to replace Jum Rukkusol. Rukkusol will move to the elementary custodial position, a job previously held by Richard Caldwell.

They also approved hiring Sarah Torres, Cooper McDermott and Abbie Strasser as playground supervisors at $9.40 per hour.