Still Working The Bugs Out

MOUNDSVILLE – Marshall County Schools Assistant Superintendent Wayne Simms said it was good luck that led Larry Dunn, an independent mechanical engineer, to visit the new Cameron High School on Tuesday.

An air unit for heating classrooms had shut off, and the building was at risk of losing its heating system as temperatures dropped below freezing.

“We think we figured out what the problem is,” Dunn said during a board of education meeting Tuesday.

He said a wheel in the air processing mechanism was spinning faster than it should have been, causing the unit to become too cold.

“We had to do an override to get it working again, but it’s not fixed permanently,” Dunn added.

He said the wheel has been slowed down, barely to an idling speed. If not fixed, this could cause increased costs for heating the building.

“Too cold of air can cause the climate control coils to bust,” Simms said. “It’s just a failsafe. We almost had to send the students home.”

Elsewhere, Allen Street of Project and Construction Services, the project manager, said the auditorium is now ready for use by students. He said a special fire safety lighting system had to be installed, causing the auditorium to be off-limits to students when the school opened on Jan. 7.

Also closed off when the school opened was the main gymnasium, which will still be closed for 10 days to allow the floor varnish to completely set and dry.

Simms said after those 10 days have passed, all sporting events requiring a gymnasium will take place at the new gym.

Street also said the new, state-of-the-art meat laboratory needed a new motor for its smoker, but that it should be up and running by Tuesday.

He said the coolers are working fine, though their recording devices for monitoring temperatures had to be programmed Monday.

“Everything’s usable in 10 days,” said Street.

As January continues and the temperature stays low, Tim Mizer, director of operations for architectural firm McKinley and Associates, said the snow melt systems installed outside the building in the sidewalks and stairs are working, but not as originally planned.

“They were designed to alternate different areas,” said Mizer, noting the manufacturer did not provide the necessary equipment for that function and that the system was not wired for sequencing.

The system was meant to save money by only using part of it at a time for certain periods.

“So it will come on, but we need more power for it?” asked board President Roger Lewicki.

Mizer said that was correct.

In case of a power outage, Street said the school would be left with absolutely nothing working.

“Down the road, we’ll have to look into alternative power sources,” said Superintendent Fred Renzella.

Dunn and Street both said the complex is so technologically advanced and complicated that it would be a good idea to employ a maintenance person to watch it full time.

“Every building is going to have a few bugs to be worked out,” said Mizer.

Simms said the board of education will hold a meeting in February to determine who is accountable for the 14-month delay in the Cameron High School project’s completion, as well being $500,000 over budget.

“The school board, PCS and McKinley and Associates will meet to review all change orders and time scheduling,” said Simms. “We will try to figure out then what got them so far out of gear.”