Hopkinton's Center School Involves Heated Discussion
School Committee starts process for Center School to keep the heat from flowing out its old windows.
At the Hopkinton School Committee most recent meeting, one of the most pressing topics was the outdated heating system at Center School and what to do with it.
Since the failed vote on a new school at Fruit Street, it has become obvious that students will spending more than a year or two at the Center School and some updates must be done.
The difficulty is how and what to do. There have already been attempts to fix the heating system.
The boiler has been updated but the ductwork is so old that it does not evenly distribute the heat. To replace the ductwork is expensive and time consuming. It could not be done over a vacation or even the summer, and students will have to be accommodated while the work is being done.
The obvious choice is to replace the windows on the north side of the building, the coldest part of the school. This would keep the heat that is reaching the classrooms in the rooms.
The southside windows were replaced during the last renovation in 1986. School Committee member Troy Mick asked why the sunny side of the building was done first but it is a question that will remain unanswered.
Replacing windows is not a quick fix. A designer must be hired to assess the cost of the project, so the School Committee will be able to ask the town for the correct amount.
In the meantime, the School Committee has no funds set aside to pay a designer. The committee will speak to the Appropriations Committee to see if money is available for an estimate. The estimnate would be presented to voters in September.
The School Committee also intends to begin the process with the Mass. School Building Authority of applying for a grant for the window project as part of creating a "greener school."
Nothing will be done for the start of the next school year but the School Committee hopes to have a plan in place for residents to vote on by September.