While he didn't take a side in the matter, Brandon-Evansville Superintendent Don Peschel encouraged people to vote in the upcoming election deciding whether to pass a referendum for funding a school expansion.

"Let's get people to the polls," Peschel said at the Brandon-Evansville School Board's regular meeting Monday, Oct. 18. "Voting is open right now in the Evansville building during regular school hours, and they can vote at home as well. Otherwise, the polls open Nov. 2."

Peschel added that even though there has not been a lot of early voting, he thinks it will pick up after this week.

The plan for the Evansville school includes the addition of more classrooms, a parent drop-off area and new parking lots. In Brandon, the plan includes a new gym, career and technical shop and community fitness room additions, as well as new parking lots and a storage shed.

The school board approved a resolution to issue general obligation school building bonds and called for the special election at its July meeting.

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According to the resolution, the amount of money would not exceed $14.5 million and would go toward "the betterment of school sites and facilities."

A previous $25.2 million referendum failed in November 2019.

Indoor air quality project

The school board also heard an update on the indoor air quality project and heating, ventilation and air conditioning for the Brandon School, a project that entails installing new boilers, heating/cooling, ceilings, lighting and some other exterior improvements.

Jeff Flettre of ICS Consulting said the heat was scheduled to be running as of Monday morning, but "one of the new breakers in the box outside decided it didn't want to cooperate, so now we have to order another one. It is one of the main breakers for the electric boiler, so it's not going to let the electric boiler run right now."

However, the school's propane boiler was scheduled to be up and running by Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Flettre said overall work on the project is coming closer to the end.

"All the hot side piping is done," he said. "It's being flushed and filled as of Wednesday of next week. They started filling it with the chemicals and flushing it. It's been running all weekend, so everything should be good and clean."

Workers will be working on the chilled beam side of the project during a break in classes this week, Flettre said.

"We plan on flooding the place with men," he said. "Obviously, the chilled beams are what showed up so late, a week before school, so they didn't have a chance to get them all hooked up. They just got them all set in place. So this week they're hoping to hook up the whole elementary wing and get those connected and ready to go, and then we'll hook up the rest of it past that week for the chilled side."

Flettre hopes the workers will have everything hooked up by the first part of November.

"Unfortunately, with the chilled side we can't flush and fill it because the chemicals are freezable, so that portion of it will have to wait until next spring. When the weather breaks we can flush and fill it," he said.

Overall, the project is "coming together as good as it can," Flettre said.