FARMINGTON — RSU 9 directors learned Tuesday that it would cost an estimated $300,000 to add air conditioning to the second floor of the Mallett School, which was built in 2011.

Directors asked for more information and what it would cost to take legal action against the architectural firm that designed the building before deciding.

Proposals for bonding will also be presented.

The addition of darkening film, eight window air conditioners, shade screen and ceiling fans installed in 2012 have not cooled temperatures on the second floor. The first floor is air conditioned.

The school was estimated to cost $18.9 million in 2009 and was completed for the opening of the school year in 2011.

The state was to pick up 99.6 percent of the cost of the new school and taxpayers were estimated to pay $75,000 at the time. Architects for the project were Stephen Blatt and Associates of Portland. The building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified.

The second floor at the front of the building is getting sun reflected off a first-floor white roof. The solar penetration is a minor part of the problem, Director of Support Services David Leavitt said Wednesday. The air handler in the building changes the air every 15 minutes to bring outside air in. When it is 95 degrees outside, it is 95 degrees inside, he said.

Superintendent Tom Ward said he asked the architects to draft a proposal to alleviate overheating on the second floor at the firm’s cost. The proposal is estimated at $300,000.

The goal is fund this without affecting the budget, he said Tuesday.

The proposal would put air conditioners in the walls of classrooms and an air chiller system on the roof, Leavitt told the board.

The portable air conditioners installed two years ago brought the temperature down to 85 to 90 degrees, he said. There is a 12-week lead time to order the air conditioning system so it could be installed during the summer, he said. It would need to go out to bid by March 1.

The $300,000 estimate is probably a little high, Leavitt said.

His recommendation to not affect the budget would be to keep $120,000 in next year’s budget to make a payment on the system. There was $120,000 in the current budget to make renovations to bring the adult education program to the Mt. Blue Campus, he said. That money was spent for that purpose.

In all fairness to the architects, he said, the design of the new school was what the state told them to do.

This is a new building, Director James Black of Wilton said. These people are paid to design buildings, he said.

“I would take legal action” before the district pays $300,000 for the system, Black said. He would rather pay $25,000 to litigate the issue, he said.

“We need to fix the problem,” Ward said. The classrooms cannot be 85 degrees or higher for students and teachers, he said.

“It is unbearable,” he said.

There are some issues that would come into play if the board takes legal action, he said.

Because the district built the new school on the same site as the old school, it was the only spot that the new school would fit, Ward said.

“We could have had air conditioning on the second floor but at the time we did not think we would need air conditioning” on the second floor, he said.

The Building Committee asked if the white roof would be a problem and architects said no, board Vice Chairwoman Claire Andrews of Farmington said.

“We have a serious problem. We need to get air conditioning. Kids can’t function in 90 to 95 degrees,” she said.

She said she believed part of the responsibility is the architects’ and believes the district should encourage them to help pay for it.

Leavitt said the fix needs to occur soon.

“Personally, I have been working on the problem since 2011,” he said.

“Basically, they built a building that I am hearing is not useable during certain times of the year,” Director Keith Swett of Wilton said.

The state will refund some of the costs of the system related to architecture and engineering for the project if it goes out to bid, Leavitt said.

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