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The Kanawha County Board of Education has approved millions of dollars worth of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system replacements for three elementary schools.

The school board approved paying Charleston-based Casto Technical Services Inc. about $2.3 million to replace the system at Shoals Elementary, in Mink Shoals, and $1.6 million to replace the one at Montrose Elementary, in South Charleston.

Casto was one of two bidders for Montrose — Charleston-based Wiseman Construction said it could do the work for $1.9 million, according to a document the school system provided.

Casto was the only bidder for Shoals.

The board approved paying Nitro Construction Services $2.2 million to replace the system at Ruthlawn Elementary, near the Southridge shopping center. Nitro was the only bidder for that project.

Kanawha schools Superintendent Tom Williams said federal COVID-19 relief money is funding the HVAC work.

These were among several significant expenses the board approved Thursday evening, all in unanimous votes. The funding for the other expenses came from different sources, Williams said.

Additionally, board members approved paying Blue Bird Bus Sales of West Virginia $512,000 for four, 84-passenger school buses.

“We add new buses in and take old buses out so that our buses are always up and running,” Williams said.

The board also approved paying Apple Inc. $465,000 for 420 MacBook Air laptops, plus cases and other related parts and services.

Williams said the laptops will allow middle-schoolers to “do more advanced coding and things of that nature that can’t be done on the iPads” middle-schoolers currently have.

Leah Sparks, the school district’s technology director, said each of the county’s public middle schools will receive 30 MacBooks. Kanawha teachers already have MacBooks. Williams said students will share the new ones.

Board members also approved paying Cross Lanes-based All Quality LLC $446,000 for swings, raised garden beds, fencing and walkways. Williams said this would be for Head Start facilities and funded by a grant from that preschool program.

The only other bidder, Huntington-based Play It Safe LLC, said it could do the work for $622,000.

Ryan Quinn covers education. He can be reached at 304-348-1254 or Follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.

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