Board approves $33k for new AC system

Gunner reiterates need for new buildings
Alissa Widman Neese
Jun 11, 2014

Perkins Schools officials continue to deal with the plight of outdated school buildings.

At a brief meeting Wednesday, the district's school board members agreed to spend nearly $33,000 in permanent improvement funds to replace the air conditioning system in the high school's band and choir room.

The system, installed in 1958, stopped working earlier this month and cannot be repaired, they said.

Board members did not take bids for the project and declared it an "urgent necessity," which state law permits, as the room will be used all summer by band students.

"We're going to run into issues like this more and more as we deal with aging buildings and aging components," district superintendent Jim Gunner said.

Three of the four board members who attended Wednesday's meeting voted in favor of granting the project to Bell Equipment and Refrigeration Service, a longtime district vendor.

Board member Michael Ahner voted against the decision because district officials didn't seek other offers. Board president Matt Kosior did not attend the meeting.

In addition, board members approved another three-year contract with Apple Inc. to purchase new technology for Meadowlawn Intermediate School staff and students, at a rate of about $194,000 a year. The district's permanent improvement fund, worth about $1 million annually, also will be used to pay for the contract.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, board members agreed to grant a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement to Speer Bros. Inc., a local business with plans to construct a 12,000-foot building next to its current facility at 3812 Old Railroad Road.

They then approved several new hires, including:

•High school math teacher Jeff Harbal as assistant high school principal for the next three years.

•Brittany Langenfelder, a 2008 Perkins High School graduate and a recent Kent State University graduate, as the district treasurer's assistant for the next two years.

About 20 people attended the meeting, and none commented on any board business.


2cents's picture

"The system, installed in 1958, stopped working earlier this month and cannot be repaired, they said."

WTF, did anyone have AC in their school in 1958? I never went to a school before college that had AC. Wow that school system sure was spoiled.....


Open the windows. We NEVER had air conditioning!


It's in the band room. They have band practice in the summer. Did you go to school in the summer?


Nope! Go outside in the shade and play.

Dr. Information

deer you simply are an idiot.


.....and I'm sure you voted NO!


And why didnt we seek local bids? This is the kind of stuff that keeps the NO VOTERS voting NO. Youve gotta help us out Mr. Gunner. Cant keep trying to get my neighbors to vote YES when you keep pulling this kind of stuff.


"Board members did not take bids for the project and declared it an "urgent necessity," which state law permits, as the room will be used all summer by band students."

The answer to your question is in the body of the article.


So Bell had time to prepare a quote but no other company could have prepared one before the meeting? Rubbish!

The article said it failed EARLIER this month, so they had time before the meeting to make some phone calls.

Perkins Resident

Unacceptable use of our funds. You sure can tell they use tax payer funds to pay for this. If this was a private business we would have gotten THREE quotes and proceeded from there. This "urgent necessity" is garbage. Other companies, especially local ones would have jumped at this opportunity and would have had the quote back in time if not sooner than this Bell company. Totally unacceptable and someone should be FIRED over this!


Was that building even there in 1958?


This is sure not the way to get Yes votes by not even going out for bids. Bet you Bell Equipment likes to do business that way too. Glad Michael Ahner said NO due to lack of bidding. Things to remember when these others come up for election.

Perkins Resident

Yet another reason to vote no. There is absolutely no reason not to seek other bids. They could have had a quote from other companies in the same time frame they received one from Bell. Where is this company located? Totally unacceptable and my vote will not change until the board and super are replaced.

Perkins Resident

And let's not even get started on the $194k improvement funds for Apple computers.

lunchtime 175

sounds like it is something that needed to be done now and not wait for bids from other places to come in and then decide, etc, etc. The band room probably was built with ac in it back in the 50's because of it being used in the summer and for a band room they did not want the students to have to sit in the heat all summer and try to practice, etc. I think it was a good idea for the ac back then and I am sure the students appreciated it and still do.

Perkins Resident

No reason why one company can bid the job in a small time frame and others can't. It still could have been done now without the etc etc etc. Get the three bids within a week, which I'm sure Bell took that long if not longer and go with the best price and delivery. Period. It's purchasing 101. Obviously public servants don't care about the bottom line and saving their jobs because the never ending well of tax payer funds will take care of them forever.


So Gunner says the buildings are in dire straits, but yet they have $200,000 to blow on Apple products and money to hire an unnecessary assistant principal. While you're at it, it's probably time for a new football stadium, too. smh things like this are why I keep voting NO.


I can see where this next levy will be going. This guy and his crew has no idea what they are doing. Only 1/4 of Sandusky High has A/C, and none of the other buildings do. Suck it up, and for 33K it better be state of the art and maintained for free by the company installing it.

Perkins Resident

Sandusky Register: Ask Perkins Schools for the bid from Bell, put it on this website. Let's let the public see what we are getting. Ask local companies what their price would have been and what their delivery would have been.

Perkins Resident

Why are we using Apple computers? Not many businesses I know use Apple operating systems. Everyone I know uses Window based operating systems. How is that preparing anyone for the real world? Would windows based computers cost less? Did they even look into it or just go with Apple like they did with Bell?


The Register reported that Port Clinton students use Google Chromebooks, which cost their district a fraction of what it costs Perkins to use Apple. Oh to have a superintendent that knows what he is doing!


The only thing you are going to accomplish by all the negativity is to have to dig much deeper into your pockets at a later date.

Perkins Resident

Negativity? No, try again. It's called ACCOUNTABILITY!


Does this mean the "treasurer" has two assistant treasurers now?


Oh, geezzzz... such a foolish decision. How will Perkins ever regain the trust of the community.

Perkins Resident

A simple mind would think that way. This decision, that decision, that decision... They ALL add up!


For what it's worth, I attended the board meeting last evening and the discussion about the a/c unit as I recall included the following:

a) Bell Equipment and Refrigeration (out of Vermilion/Lorain if I searched properly) has been involved in other projects in the district and has typically been the lowest bidder on those projects. Bell does not charge a "premium" for Saturday work if needed. This is a vendor the maintenance dept. and district are comfortable with due to past bids and performance.
b) The band/choir room has no windows and is used throughout the summer by and for students. There isn't a viable alternative location with a/c. And no viable option was presented by anyone at the board table or in the audience (including me).
c) The bid process for public schools: notice placed in paper for open bids on project that exceeds $25,000 for a minimum of 2-3 weeks before bids can be opened. Board then reviews bids and must accept or reject at a public meeting. Public entities can declare "urgent necessity" by state law. I don't recall urgent necessity being declared on too many projects in the past by the district, so it's not a common occurrence; time is a factor in this instance.
d) Given the time factor involved (short turn around for completion), by the time normal process played out bids could conceivably be higher than the one in hand. In my experience, and as noted at the meeting, bidders will often increase the bid for short turn around time projects in order to cover any potential overtime or other unknowns that might arise.

e) The asst. principal position is being filled beginning Aug. 1. The current asst. principal is moving into the principal position to replace the retiring principal.


$33,000 for a change out? This price would cover the full installation of 2 systems, including duct work. Someone is pulling the wool over the board members eyes.

Perkins Resident

"Someone is pulling the wool over the board members eyes". It's obvious that it really isn't that hard to do.


How much of the school is used during summer?
They couldn't find another room to use for a few weeks in order to get a few bids?
And if they could have used another air conditioned room for a few weeks the board could have had an emergency meeting to review the bids.

Who is this Bell anyway?


Exactly which room would be large enough for 100 band students plus their music stands and instruments that is acoustically balanced enough to hear what you're playing?
You people are clueless about how band works. I don't even live in Perkins, but I feel bad that you are giving such a top notch band program so little support.
A band room must be air conditioned, if for no other reason than many of the instruments need climate controlled environments in order to maintain their quality.

Perkins Resident

You don't live in Perkins. Anyhow, this is bigger than the band. Again, you don't live in Perkins.


If the a/c is broken and can't be fixed, then it has to be replaced. Considering a residential unit can be $5,000-$7,000, it doesn't seem that $33,000 for a commercial unit is out of line.


You people will never learn. Just another thing to b***h about. All the, that's why I vote no, I'll show Gunner comments do nothing. Has his pay been cut? Has he moved to Perkins? Has he been fired? He will retire next year, drive back to his hometown, collect his STRS plus probably become employed elsewhere on top of that. That's about $170-190 thousand a year he'll make. Yes Perkins residents you really showed him. I'm not a Gunner fan, but in the long run only your community will suffer and he'll be living more than fine.

Florence Nightingale

I really feel for you, Perkins parents and students - the people who vote "no" are going to use any and every excuse to continue doing so.


Exactly! The fact is many of them just don't care and/or don't believe in public education, even though others paid their way for them while they were growing up.
There is no sense of community or civic duty anymore. It makes me sick. I understand the initial no votes when the elaborate new school was on the table. But not the continued ones.
Glad I don't live in Perkins. And for those of you that think they already have too much, you need to get out into the world beyond north central Ohio. Talk to your kids' friends at college who are from different parts of the country and see what their high schools are like. Ours here are a joke.


I thought Mike Strohl was also going to be the asst. principal so they could save money.