The Bozeman School Board approved Thursday more than $500,000 in contracts for school building upgrades.

Trustees voted 5-0 without comment to OK a $473,070 contract with BN Builders Inc. for the first phase of upgrading Hawthorne School's electrical system and its heating and ventilation system.

They also approved a $43,339 contract with Tech Electric to install more energy-efficient lighting in the gyms at seven schools.

All the projects will be paid for from the school district's building reserve funds. Several competitive bids were received for each contract.

Kevin Barre, the schools facilities director, said the special meeting was held so that contractors could start ordering materials and equipment as soon as possible and work can begin as soon as school is out for the summer.

Most of the work is supposed to be completed before students return in the fall.

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