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All 15 school buildings and dome in Eastern Carver County Schools will have ionization equipment installed into HVACs for better air quality.

Needlepoint Bi-polarization Ionization equipment is coming to all 15 Eastern Carver County Schools buildings and dome.

The new equipment, which will cost $1.29 million, is completely paid for with awarded money from the CARES program through the state of Minnesota. It upgrades filtering systems, run times and maximizes the amount of outside air entering school buildings.

The equipment will be installed in all district HVACs over the next 90 days. The lifespan of the product, developed by GBS Technology, is around 10 years.

"It's one of the only win-win situations to come out of this pandemic," Jim Muenzenmeyer, Director of Buildings & Grounds for District 112, said at Monday's school board meeting. "My colleague up in Anoka said it's a game-changer."

Muenzenmeyer said the cost difference between buildings is based on the total number of air units in each school.

Additionally, District 112 school board approved the lease-to-own purchase of 15 school buses. The District is locked into a 1.4 percent interest rate for eight years.

In other news:

  • DeeDee Kahring, Director of Finance and Operations for District 112, shared enrollment is down about 3.5 percent across Eastern Carver County Schools to begin the 2020-21 school year.

    "We do believe it is COVID related," board chair Jeffrey Ross said. "Many districts around the metro area are seeing this."

    While private schools with full in-person learning have seen increases in student populations, Superintendent Lisa Sayles-Adams did share that kindergarten numbers suggest many families held off on starting students until next year.

  • Kahring said homeowners in Eastern Carver County Schools should see a decrease in the property tax levy for fiscal year 2021-22. A public hearing and final proposed levy amount will be released on Dec. 7.

    Overall, the proposed levy has an increase of just 0.14 percent. The largest increases come in school-aged care, reemployment, and a planned one million dollar long-term facilities maintenance increase.

    The final lease payments have been made on District Offices, resulting in $300,000 coming off the books for next year as well.

  • Southwest Metro Intermediate District #288, which owns and leases space to provide special education, alternative education, career & technical education, adult basic education, and mental health services, is looking to purchase a facility building at 4601 Dean Lakes Boulevard in Shakopee.

    Eastern Carver County Schools is one of 11 member school districts that are part of the alternate cooperative. Roughly 14 percent of District 288 students come from Eastern Carver County.

    Current facilities are at or near capacity. The new property, which will require all 11 member school districts to pass the resolution, would be retro-fitted and be ready for next school year.

    Impact to member district taxpayers will be zero net change. Lease levy will go up slightly to purchase the Dean Lakes property, but a lower facilities maintenance levy will offset much of the added cost.

    The purchase price for the property is $6.5 million with an additional $1 million allocated to update the building to tailor to educational needs.

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