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Esko sudents, staff can see clearly now

Esko students will be able to see clearly now out of the new windows that have been installed in the Esko school buildings. The district is finishing up phase three of replacing old, inefficient windows at the school. The school district budgets ...

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Adam Hanner and Craig Craven of St. Germain's Glass Company check the edges of a window opening to make sure it is clean and ready for the new panes of glass. Two additional employees are inside the classroom, ready to lift the glass into the space during phase three of Esko school's ongoing energy efficient window project. Jamie Lund/jlund@pinejournal.com

Esko students will be able to see clearly now out of the new windows that have been installed in the Esko school buildings.

The district is finishing up phase three of replacing old, inefficient windows at the school.

The school district budgets part of the capital money that it receives from the state every year to replace the expensive windows. The school only receives a certain amount each year, so the district officials have had to prioritize which windows to do each year and stretch the project over three years.

Capital money needs to be used to purchase physical assets with a multi-year life or building-maintenance-type projects, such as replacing roofs or windows. Capital money can not be spent on the everyday costs of running a school or salaries.

The operating fund is used to pay the teachers, buy books and for other operational costs.

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The three-year window replacement project cost about $219,000 and will be completed this summer, said Esko Superintendent Aaron Fischer.

The original Esko school was built in 1923 with additions built in 1954, 1960 and the final addition in 1998.

The window project began in the Lincoln addition, which was built in 1954 and still had the original windows.

The windows were cracked and discolored. Besides allowing heat to escape, they also let the rain in. Some of the classrooms had water leaking every time it rained, which would seep down inside the brick walls and rot from the inside out.

“We were forced to move fast,” said Fischer.

Storm windows were added on some of the windows in the mid-1980s.

The old buildings have other age issues that will need to be addressed as well, sooner rather than later, Fisher said. Part of the building still uses steam heat, which is very inefficient and will need to be updated. A sewer pipe also recently burst in the school and had to be repaired as the plumbing is also original.

“We want to maintain the buildings so we don’t have to replace them,” Fisher said.

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