The Missouri Valley Community School District is faced with a problem: the continual breakdown of 30-year-old rooftop HVAC units at its Missouri Valley High School.

In an article published by the Missouri Valley Times News, several members of the district's maintenance staff said that they do their "best to keep them on-line in all types of weather, a daunting task."

The rooftop units have a specified life of about 20 years. In the article, maintenance workers said purchase of many of the parts needed to keep the units operational is nearly impossible and more than once they have been forced to fabricate their own parts.

Some of the other problems pointed out in the Times News article are that the compressors are no longer made and the maintenance department must rebuild the old ones, and that years of condensation has caused severe rust problems on parts of the machines. The equipment wiring is outdated as well.

In addition, the heating efficiency is estimated to be down at least 50 percent and gas and electric costs continue to rise.

The district is now recommending replacing the units and the ductwork - repairing them will only serve as a "costly Band-Aid."

Publication date: 04/18/2005