Selected rooms on second story of AHS would be rewired to halt current problems with blown fuses in school building.
Members of the Alta School Board will issue a bid to one of two electricians to allow them to rewire several rooms on the second floor of Alta High School in order to avoid problems with blown fuses which have plagued the school district over the course of the 2001-2002 academic year.
The decision, made after the Pilot-Tribune's press deadline yesterday, would allow either Mechura Electric of Storm Lake or Nepple Electric of Alta to work on rewiring and installing panels and breakers to reroute electricity and prevent any possible electrical shortages in the principal's office and classrooms located on the second floor.
The board received more information on the project from Shannon Gaes of Mechura Electric, who said splitting up wires and circuits would be a critical component of the effort.
"Basically, you've got 60 to 70 circuits up there now and maybe two or three are holding just about everything," Gaes said. "More of those circuits have to be used."
The project would concentrate on four to five rooms on the level, which administrators hope would relieve the problem in those spaces.
One of the main reasons for concern is that some of the wires currently in the school have not been replaced and updated since 1960, creating a hazardous situation in addition to inconveniences caused by blown fuses.
"There are two main reasons why we're doing this," Superintendent Fred Maharry said. "First of all, we don't want anything to happen that might make this a fire trap at all. We also don't want any blown fuses up there anymore. Neither of those are good situations at all."
Many of the problems stem from circuits which are overloaded, especially in the teacher's lounge, which has two pop machines, a microwave, a small refrigerator and an air conditioner.
The numerous wires which crisscross floors also make it difficult to control all power on one floor from a single panel or breaker, making it hard to figure out where individual items receive their power supply from.
"All of the floors are a little messed up," custodian Pam Henderson said. "For example, if you decide to shut down the main breaker on second floor, chances are you've still got some stuff running because you haven't shut down third floor and third floor is feeding second floor. There are a lot of crisscrossed wires in the building."
Even if the targeted rooms are fixed, Gaes said fuses could still blow on the floor in the future.
"This bid will fix those rooms that you wanted fixed, but it won't take care of the whole hallway," Gaes said. "Unfortu-nately, if you don't do the whole floor, you'll still have areas that will blow fuses in the future. Those four or five rooms will be done forever and you won't have problems there, but that's not saying you won't have problems elsewhere in the future."
"It's a quick fix," Henderson said. "In the future, we'll still have to go floor by floor and rewire and split circuits up if we want the entire problem taken care of in the entire building."
The final bid is not expected to exceed $6,247 for the project.