Plans to renovate school kitchen, upgrade equipment approved by Cedar Falls board | Education News

CEDAR FALLS – Cedar Heights Elementary School kitchen renovation plans and specifications were approved by the Board of Education on Monday.

The project, which also includes upgraded equipment, has an estimated budget of $ 711,575. The board of directors has scheduled a public hearing on the project for its meeting on January 24th.

“This will be the last of our seven elementary schools to have this decentralization,” said Denelle Gonnerman, chief financial officer.

Denelle Gonnerman


Meal preparation has been decentralized through the modernization of the kitchens in the six other elementary buildings of the Cedar Falls Community Schools. In the past, food was prepared in high school or peet junior high and transported to elementary schools.

Projects at Lincoln and Southdale Elementary Schools were completed last summer. The projects of the elementary schools Hansen, North Cedar and Orchard Hill took place the year before. The Bess Streeter Aldrich Elementary School, which opened in autumn 2018, was built with the modernized kitchen.

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Gonnerman noted that officials at Cedar Heights are planning “a much more complex project” than the other schools.

“There are some structural changes,” she told the board, and work needs to be done on the plumbing and electrical systems. She also found that the project budget reflects “market changes” that have driven construction costs up.

The estimated cost is $ 133,745 to build; $ 181,400 for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing fixtures; and $ 20,725 for equipment. The remaining expenses are for design fees and an emergency fund to cover unforeseen costs.

Regarding the cost of the equipment, Superintendent Andy Pattee pointed out that “these are commercial dishwashers, stoves, and ovens” that are expected to last 25-30 years.

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Based on the estimates, this project would have been priced higher than previous kitchen upgrades. According to previous Courier stories, the cost of equipment at Aldrich was $ 268,500; $ 241,959 for equipment at Hansen, North Cedar, and Orchard Hill; and a total of $ 665,254 in construction and equipment in Lincoln and Southdale.

A contract is expected to be awarded on February 14th, with work to be completed in the summer.

In other areas, the board approved filing a proposal for $ 910,603 in modified supplemental funding to the State School Budget Review Committee for Dropouts / Risk Programs 2022-23. That would be funded by a property tax rate of just under 44 cents per $ 1,000 of taxable value.

The application is part of the estimated total budget, which is set at $ 1.45 million for six programs. Cedar Falls Schools would provide a 25% grant of $ 303,534 from its generic fund and estimates an additional $ 143,073 will be received from the state’s at risk. There are also carry-over funds from drop-out programs of $ 46,025 and $ 48,973 from risk programs.

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