Rae C. Stedman Elementary School will get a face lift after the school board awarded a $2.3 million exterior wall renovation project to Alaska Community Contractors last week.
Daniel Tate, director of maintenance, said the project will better insulate the school’s paper thin walls, a need which is a long time coming.
“This building really fluctuates with the weather,” Tate said. “If it’s a sunny day the folks on this side of the building just cook and if it’s gray out it gets cold and the building has a hard time keeping up with that because energy just comes and goes out through the walls.”
The renovation is set to begin in April, before the school year ends, which will create a logistical challenge for workers, students and staff. School Principal Erica Kludt-Painter said the project couldn’t be completed during the summer.
“The goal will be to find the least impact areas,” Kludt-Painter said. “There will be impact regardless but the goal will be to find the least impact with the idea of the project being completed by the fall.”
Every exterior wall will come down and be replaced by 2x6 construction, and the single pane windows will be replaced by triple paned glass. New insulation in the floors of the school will also be installed.
Tate will work with the contractor to develop plans as to which order the walls to each room will be removed.
Along with the new walls, new carpeting will be installed as well as a new lighting system that senses ambient light from outside and adjusts the artificial light accordingly. Energy efficient occupancy controls—lights that switch off after people leave the room—will also be installed.
Tate didn’t have exact figures but said he expects significant energy savings will be recouped after the project’s completion.
The project has been on the district’s priority list for around ten years and was listed on the state’s capital project list last year.
The state will fund seventy percent of the cost and the other 30 percent is being funded by a federal matching grant from district funds.
The other bidders still have an opportunity to appeal the decision.
Silver Bow Construction bid the project at $3.2 million. Baranof Island Enterprises bid at $2.7 million. Dawson Construction bid at $2.35 million. Wolverine Supply bid at $2.4 million. North Pacific Contractors bid at $2.5 million.