High school gets central AC for the first time

Photos by Kelsey Leyva | Wellington Enterprise Boxes of equipment and ducting line the hallways of Wellington High School.

Hallway ceilings are lined with missing panels so workers can install the ducting and fire detector sensors.

Missing ceiling panels reveal a hole in the roof where curbs will be installed and connected to the ducts to push hot and cold air through the school.

An anonymous donor is giving Wellington High School roughly $700,000 to have a new HVAC system installed this summer.

Fire and building codes require fire detector sensors be put in the ducts of the new system but they are not included in the estimated price tag.

The board of education voted at its June 29 meeting to pay Suever Electric an additional $9,224 to add the detector installation to the project.

Wellington Schools business manager Tim Wulfhoop said talks about a new heating and cooling system started last year and the board acted on it in May.

He said the new heating system will be more efficient than the current one, which is original equipment that has been in the building since about 1970.

“And then other than a few rooms, there’s currently no air conditioning in the building,” Wulfhoop said. “Now the entire building will be climate controlled like the new building.”

It’s not exactly the same system that’s going into the new McCormick building but it functions in the same way.

Temperature will be able to be controlled via the Internet. School administrators can set timers and adjust the temperature in each room.

Units, called curbs, will be installed on the roof and connected to the ductwork in the ceiling. From there, air will be heated or cooled, pushed through the ducts, and sent into the classrooms.

Wulfhoop said the project is completely underway and began shortly after the students left for the summer.

“The high school looks like a construction zone inside,” he said. “They’ve got panels open in every room and hallway.”

The hope is to have the project completed by Sept. 2 when the students return for the 2015-2016 school year.

Kelsey Leyva can be reached at 400-647-3171 or @TWE_KelseyLeyva on Twitter.