MANSFIELD — Some new items have been added to the summer maintenance work at Schneider Elementary in Farmer City, including the removal of bats and the replacement of water pipes. Together, the two jobs will cost the district about $100,000.
Blue Ridge school board members approved the asbestos abatement and repair of leaky water pipes that run beneath the original building.
"It's a major expense, but it has to be done, especially with this money we're putting into the new geothermal system," said school board President Bart Lytel. "We can't afford not to do it right the first time."
The cost for asbestos abatement and repair of the water pipes is estimated to be about $90,000.
Superintendent Susan Wilson said money from the district's Operations and Maintenance Fund would be used to cover the cost of the asbestos abatement and the new water pipes.
Bats and their babies have been discovered in the grates that vent into the classroom. While the bats are not actually in the building, Wilson said, guano is "in the way of the airflow that will be going into the classroom so the bats need to be humanely removed."
Anything Wild Animal Control of Urbana has been hired to remove the bats, at a cost ranging from $3,000 to $5,000.