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Published: Tuesday, 5/2/2006

Washington schools get a sweet surprise

The Washington Local Board of Education approved almost $2 million in contracts last night for improvements at several of the district's schools - well below what board members had anticipated paying.

Surprised board members thought they were going to spend up to $3 million for the work, which includes all new windows at Whitmer High School and new doors at Washington, McGregor, and Wernert schools. Capitol Aluminum & Glass Co. will be paid $1.47 million for that work.

"I thought this was going to be $2.5 million to $3 million. This is fantastic," board member John Adler said.

The Whitmer windows that will be replaced are the originals from 1958. The new windows are double-paned and have blinds between the panes. The cost savings prompted several board members to wonder if other projects should be undertaken, such as moving bleachers and refurbishing a track.

The board also approved new gymnasium lighting at McGregor and Meadowvale; paving at Jackman, Shoreland, and Meadowvale, work on the elevator at Whitmer; and restroom renovations at Shoreland.

The board also decided last night to add air conditioning in the high school gymnasium for about $24,000.

District Treasurer Jeffery Fouke said every roof and window in the district will be replaced as part of the school district's capital improvements program. "We decided to renovate our buildings and not replace them," Mr. Fouke said.

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