Archive for Thursday, April 17, 2008

District disputes need for 16-inch water line

April 17, 2008

Cutting corners is not something the Basehor-Linwood school district wishes to do when it comes to the new facilities provided by the bond issue.

But, it may become a reality if an agreement with a local water company is not reached.

District officials have been in negotiations with Suburban Water for about a month and a half regarding a 16-inch water line the district will be required to put in prior to the construction of the new middle school on 158th Street.

While Suburban Water representatives said the size of the line, which will run from U.S. Highway 24-40 down 158th Street, about a mile and a half to the school site, is necessary to handle maximum water flow in case of a fire, the school district is questioning the size of the line and said it is much too large for the needs of the school.

"We think it's completely out of line to require a 16-inch main," Superintendent Bob Albers said. "Our daily use is only about 5 percent of the water that can go through a 16-inch line, and fire flows would be just under half of what is needed. Why are we being required to put in a 16-inch line when in a worse case scenario, we only need half that much water?"

Albers said the school's daily flow would be about 125 gallons per minute and the maximum fire flow would be 2,050 gallons per minute.

Mike Breuer of Suburban Water said the fire flows were dictated to him by the Fairmount Township Fire Department. He said he was told that the fire department would need 1,750 gallons per minute to fight a fire at the new school building. After plugging this number along with standard systems, such as average home flows, into a hydraulic flow analysis computer software program, he said Suburban Water's engineer, Bruce Hall, came to the conclusion that a 16-inch line was needed to fulfill the request of the fire department.

"Suburban Water isn't pushing the size of the main," Breuer said. "The fire department is pushing it because they need it to fight a fire."

The district brought project engineer Joe McAfee of McAfee, Henderson Solutions into the school board meeting Monday evening to compare required flows with sizes of water mains. His hydraulic flow analysis software program determined that a 12-inch line would provide 2,250 gallons per minute at peak operating conditions, enough to handle the required 2,050 gallons, while a 16-inch main would go above and beyond this number at 4,300 gallons per minute.

"What that tells us is you'd be able to fight fire and still have enough that is going to be used by other people in the area for domestic flow," McAfee said about the 12-inch line.

And, the new school will have a sprinkler system, which Albers said requires 300 gallons per minute and would put out most fires.

"That 2,050 for fire conditions is only if the sprinklers don't put out a fire and a pumper truck has to come in," he said.

However, Breuer said the district may not be factoring in the 20 pounds per square inch of pressure that must be maintained during peak demand, which is state mandated. He said two 12-inch lines that currently run parallel down 24-40 provide about 68 psi and serve several subdivisions in the area such as Cedar Lakes and Pinehurst as well as Glenwood Ridge Elementary School. The 68 psi on 24-40 must be maintained in order to have the required 20 psi a mile and a half down the road at the school site, he said, which will require a 16-inch main. The 12-inch lines already in existence dictate how large the school's line must be in order to maintain 20 psi during a fire. He said another 12-inch main could not provide the required pressure during peak flows and would also take away domestic flow from other customers in the area.

"The 12-inch will take everything from everybody," he said. "Sure, it will fight a fire, but it will take water from everybody."

The district's main concern is the cost of the 16-inch line. Officials said they want to make sure that large of a main is absolutely necessary since it is expected to cost about $770,000, which will come out of the building's planned site costs. Albers said they had figured in about $1.3 million in site costs, which also includes roads, grading and athletic fields. The unexpected $770,000 will take a large chunk out of the planned $1.3 million, Albers said, which will almost certainly result in some design changes.

"We'd have to eliminate the athletic fields probably," he said. "And, we'd also probably be spending money that would have been used on the building itself, so we'd probably have to cut out some classrooms."

Breuer said Suburban Water would not be responsible for any of the cost since it would require water rates to be raised and customers are already paying for not only the bond issue but also the 12-inch mains that are already in existence along 24-40, which currently service the area.

Albers said the issue has been passed onto the Kansas Corporation Commission, which protects the best interests of both customers and public utility companies. He said they are now waiting on the KCC to review the matter and advise what is needed.

The county requires the district to have water on site before a building permit is issued and construction cannot go vertical without a permit in place, Albers said. Construction is scheduled to begin around Oct. 1.

"We will continue to pursue this, but there is a schedule that we need to meet," he said.

Action Items:

¢ Approved, 6-0, with Pat Jeannin absent, Student Handbook changes.

¢ Approved, 6-0, changes in Education Foundation By-Laws.

¢ Approved, 6-0, to renew the transportation contract with Easton Bus Services for one year.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the Professional Development Plan.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the senior trip to Silver Dollar City, Branson, Mo.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the summer Driver Education program.

¢ Tabled, 6-0, bid 07-04 for soccer bleachers.

¢ Approved, 6-0, BOE policy on Payment of Student Meals on Trips.

¢ Met in executive session for about 30 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel and negotiations.

¢ Approved, 6-0, the appointment of Martin Foster, Basehor-Linwood High School custodian, Erin Foley, Basehor-Linwood Middle School Language Arts, Deborah King, BLMS Science, Alexandria Jeannin, BLHS Mathematics and Ross Schwisow, Summer Health and Fitness; the resignations of Teri Chandler, Basehor Elementary School nurse, Jeremy Scarf, grounds maintenance, Kim Demings, assistant band, music and strings, Sara McArdle, Glenwood Ridge Elementary School first grade and Candance Cameron, GRES fourth grade; the retirement of Deanna Hutchinson, BES reading aid.

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