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Deconstruction to reconstruction

Browerville School is unrecognizable ... for now


by Karin L. Nauber

If you were to walk into the Browerville Public School today, you might not recognize where you are. Until last week, the music room was housing the administrative staff along with a whole host of other items.

The hallways look like a twister stopped and just spun around.

But the deconstruction part is mostly over and the reconstruction part is well underway.

As you may remember, the reason for the work was, in part, a health and safety issue.

“This is a health issue. The indoor air quality standards have changed and our old equipment does not meet those standards,” said Browerville School Superintendent Scott Vedbraaten in an interview last fall.

What these repairs/replacements all basically boil down to are the standards for indoor air quality in 1948 and 1975 were about half of what they are today. The requirements have changed and now if something has to be replaced, such as an air handling unit, it has to meet the new indoor air quality codes.

“Almost all of the air handling units are at least 42 years old. These improvements will also dehumidify the building,” said Vedbraaten.

Currently, all of the work is on schedule or even a bit ahead of schedule.

“When we have a delay or a setback, we are still ahead because of the early start,” explained Vedbraaten.

The early start on the work came about because Browerville was done with school in late May which allowed the contractors to begin work before any other projects like this.

One of the biggest snafus has been that the wrong chiller unit was placed on the roof.

“They have to take it off and replace it with a new one. That is about six weeks out. It won’t delay anything for the start of school. But it does weigh just short of 16,000 pounds,” said Vedbraaten.

In looking at the facility, one might think there is no way it will be ready for the start of school on Tuesday, September 4.

“But we hired professionals and it will all be done on time,” said Vedbraaten.

He said that the roofers have been “chomping at the bit” to start their work, but have to wait until all of the air handling units and the like are in place. . . .

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