RSS hires firm to design district-wide air improvements – Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools has appointed a company to manage a series of projects to upgrade the heating and air systems in all of its schools.

The district has set aside $28 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding to upgrade its HVAC systems across the district. Improving air quality is one of the few approved uses of the aid kitty where the funding comes from.

On Monday, council approved a contract with Charlotte Moseley Architects to design and oversee construction of the improvements.

District operations manager Anthony Vann said Moseley was selected through a qualifying application process. There were four submissions and Moseley was chosen by a committee using a scoring matrix.

The larger project will be divided into tender packages that will allow small local businesses to be part of the process.

A report prepared by Moseley presents the estimated cost per school. Costs range from zero for buildings with updated systems or planned closures, to around $150,000 at the low end and up to $2.6 million each for East and High School upgrades. South Rowan.

The total cost of the project, including a 5% contingency fund, is $27.9 million.

Board member Kevin Jones has expressed concern that the tender documents will be in line with estimates as they will start around next month.

Vann said that was a true estimate, but was based on recent, similar projects in other districts.

“The problem is equipment right now,” Vann said. “Some pieces of equipment are far from available.”

Moseley chief operating officer Jason Forsyth said the company considered “escalation factors” when creating the estimates. He said there were indications prices would stabilize in the third and fourth quarters.

Superintendent Tony Watlington said he thinks the project is a good opportunity to use relief money in a way that will benefit students for more than a decade.

In other reunion news:

• The board approved the addition of 10 teachers to its partnership with Global Teachers. The district currently hires 5 ESL teachers through the program and pays $17,500 to hire each teacher.

The total cost of commissioning 15 teachers will be $262,500, but human resources director Jill Hall-Freeman told the board that the cost is neutral to the per-teacher allocation given by the department. of North Carolina Public Education, as Global Teachers pays for teacher health care and arranges visas for international applicants.

Hall-Freeman said teachers will focus on areas of high need: English as a second language and secondary education.

The district and the state are facing a shortage of teachers. During the same meeting, Watlington noted that fewer people were enrolling in college education programs each year.

“I think it’s good to be as creative as possible to get teachers when we can,” Jones said.

Abdul J. Gaspar