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Amplification systems coming for WF Elementary Schools

In their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the West Fargo School Board unanimously decided to accept a proposal from MBN Engineering to install classroom amplification systems in all elementary schools throughout the district.

Similar amplification systems are already installed in the newly built Freedom Elementary School, and teachers seem to have been enjoying them.

"(Feedback from Freedom's teachers) has been very, very positive," assistant superintendent Louise Dardis said. "Even with kids without hearing loss, it really cuts out the white noise."

MBN Engineering's role in the process will be to do site surveys in every school and every classroom, as well as write up specifications for bids.

"We know what our base bid will be," district business manager Mark Lemer said, "but they will help us with selection of some alternate systems that would meet or exceed the requirements of our base system."

MBN Engineering will be paid five percent of the construction costs. Since the estimated cost of the project will be around $350,000 - which is already factored into the budget - it can be assumed that the district will pay roughly $17,500 for MBN Engineering's services.

The main question amongst the board members was whether this system would be utilized by teachers enough to justify installing it in every elementary school.

"I'm assuming we are going to put these in every building, and I'm assuming we are going to put these in every classroom, but the first thing we have to do is find out if every building looks at this as being of value to them," Lemer said. "We don't want to invest in technology that has limited or no use."

Installation of this system will take place in the summer of 2013.

The board also unanimously voted to allow MBN Engineering to aid in the retrofitting of the lights of the West Fargo High School.

MBN would be paid six percent of construction costs for this project, which should total about $20,400 of the projected $340,000 bill.

"We have a very inefficient lighting system right now that could see us greatly reduce our energy utilization if we were to upgrade to more energy-efficient fixtures," Lemer said.

The West Fargo High School light retrofitting will also be done over the summer of 2013.

The board also decided to award bids for snow removal to a variety of contractors at various schools throughout the district.

Contractors whose bids have been accepted include Gast Construction, Shermans, Glacier Snow Management, Lindemann Concrete Construction, Russell Brink and FDL Enterprises.

"Maybe we won't need them," School board president Kay Kiefer said jokingly.