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Local

DeKalb School District 428 Board to vote on fixing chiller at Brooks Elementary

Lincoln Elementary School first-grader Ben McCormick works on a painting on the first day of school Aug. 16 in DeKalb.
Lincoln Elementary School first-grader Ben McCormick works on a painting on the first day of school Aug. 16 in DeKalb.

DeKALB – This year, it’s Brooks Elementary School staff and students who are sweating out the first few weeks of the school year.

The chiller at Brooks Elementary, 3225 Sangamon Road, went down two weeks before the school year started, according to the agenda for the DeKalb School District 428 Board meeting at
7 p.m. Tuesday at the Education Center, 901 S. Fourth St.

The chiller cools the school’s classrooms and hallways, while the main office and media center are served by rooftop units.

Fortuitously, temperatures have not been as brutal as they were last year, when extreme heat caused temperatures to exceed 100 degrees in some Lincoln Elementary School classrooms, causing the school to close two days and attendance to languish on other sweltering days.

In December, the board approved spending more than $1 million to install air conditioning at Lincoln Elementary, which was the last school in the district to get air conditioning.

The work was finished in time for the current school year.

At Brooks, the broken part must be custom-made, meaning it won’t be available for about two months and will cost about $60,000.

Because the chiller is 20 years old, the administration is recommending replacing the chiller entirely, a project expected to cost between $50,000 and $70,000.

If approved, the funds will come from the operations and maintenance budget for this fiscal year, and the system can be installed by the spring.

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