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An ‘act of God’

September 20, 2023 - 00:00
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Navasota Independent School District has suffered numerous power outages and power surges at the high school and junior high campuses that may be the cause of equipment damage.

At the monthly board meeting Sept. 18, NISD Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Dr. Ronnie Gonzalez said they have had eight outages or surges since June that have caused some major issues at both campuses. “We’ve been in contact with Entergy and they are monitoring those power surges,” said Gonzalez. “Also, we have gotten some support from Gritex Electric.”

Gonzalez said an insurance claim has been submitted for the loss of some additional HVAC motors, fans and for electrical issues at both campuses. The school is working with Gritex and the HVAC company they work with to figure out the extent of the damages. “We will be submitting those claims to TASB, and hopefully the insurance will cover some of the damages. We are looking at anywhere between $150,000 to $175,000 worth of damages that we have had over the last couple of events.

Gonzalez said most of the power outages happen at 5:30 p.m. or on Sunday. Assistant Superintendent Director of Technology Frank Perez has been assisting with troubleshooting the technology back online and maintenance ensures the air conditioning is working for school the next day.

School Board Member Paul Malek asked, “Is there any possible way you can file on Entergy’s insurance for those power outages?” Gonzalez said he has contacted them. “They seem to think there is not a problem on their end,” said Gonzalez. “They have placed a monitor on the equipment, so we are still in contact with them.”

“For the event that happened in June, they [Entergy] weren’t willing to cover it,” said Gonzalez. “They called it an ‘act of God.’ I guess it was a lightning strike that happened in June. So, we reached out to TASB and they were willing to cover those costs.”

Gonzalez said in June the district submitted damages of $58,000 and received a check for $48,000. Gonzalez expects TASB to send someone out within the week to assess damages.

Action Items Gonzalez presented the board with three quotes to replace a 160-ton chiller at High Point Elementary. He said the chiller is the lead chiller and has a lot of hours on it. It has been in use for 18 years and the life span is only 20-25 years. Gonzalez said it is currently running at only 50% due to a bad compressor and multiple failing expansion valves.

To fix the chiller it would cost $75,000 to $90,000. “We plan on keeping the current chiller on site, behind a brick wall and use it for parts for chiller number two.” said Gonzalez. “Each campus has two chillers, and the high school has three.”

The board approved the purchase and installation of the new chiller from Gowen Garrett who quoted the district $175,000. The other two quotes were $192,650 and $185,800.

Gonzalez proposed the district use some of the leftover bond money from the 2017, which is $500,000 since High Point was included in the 2017 bond.

The board also approved the purchase of digital credit course offerings for the Instruction and Learning department from Edgenuity for $91,245.50.

Other quotes included I Station, $109,007.10 and Texas Virtual School Network, $985,500.

The next regular scheduled board meeting is Oct. 16.