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School board buys HVAC units, mower
Insurance and year-end transfers approved

The Great Bend USD 428 Board of Education voted to replace 19 rooftop HVAC units and an old mower during a special meeting Friday morning at the District Education Center.

The meeting was held to approve budget transfers at the end of the fiscal year but the agenda also included the heating, ventilation and air conditioning units, mower, insurance renewal and personnel changes.

Superintendent Khris Thexton said the replacement of the HVAC units was routine work but it does take four to five weeks for them to arrive so it was fortunate he didn’t have to wait until the regular July meeting for board approval.

“A lot of these were replaced in the last bond issue,” he said, adding they were expected to last about 19 years and made it past 20 years. They will be installed before school starts in August.

The district saved money because its own employees do the equipment inspections each summer. The purchase was at the state bid price using the same Wichita company that installed the old units. The cost is $95,549.

The 2003 mower being replaced “has given us its all; it’s beyond repair for the cost,” Thexton said. Pro-Green in Great Bend was awarded the contract for a new Hustler 72-inch Super-Z at the state bid price of $11,985.

The board approved premiums for the district’s 2019-2020 property and liability insurance policy through Insurance Planning Inc.  The cost of insurance increased by about 2 percent. Thexton said the increase was mostly for vehicle insurance, and USD 428 isn’t alone in seeing those premiums increase. The total cost is $200,251, compared to $195,955 last year.

End-of-year supplemental general budget transfers included $365,000 into the at-risk budget and $43,000 to bilingual education. Assistant Superintendent John Popp said 70 percent of the district’s students are considered at-risk and a lot of the money will be used for training.

In personnel, the board approved hiring Rachel Tice to teach English at Great Bend Middle School and accepted the resignation of Cara Moore, a family support worker at Eisenhower Elementary School, who is leaving to accept a similar position at Hoisington.