Heating Plant Fails: Portable Boiler Keeps NR-W High School Warm
North Rose-Wolcott Central School, responding to what its Board of Education termed a public emergency, has installed a temporary, portable boiler to replace all three failed boilers at the high school.
The first boiler was inoperable on November 14th. The second two were deemed inoperable Friday morning, November 25th.
The district acted quickly to make sure the building was heated, contracting with Landry Mechanical Contractors, which installed a portable unit on the parking lot side of the high school, near the pool doors. Much of the temporary work took place during Thanksgiving break, and no instructional time was lost.
The NR-W Board of Education passed an emergency resolution, declaring the situation a public emergency and approving all work and contractual arrangements. The resolution allows the district to procure all services, equipment and materials required to lease and install temporary boilers in the high school.
The board received a report from NR-W Director of Facilities Daniel Friday, describing the problem and steps taken to fix it. Friday said a temporary steam boiler plant was installed in order to maintain temperatures adequate to hold classes.
“With winter temperatures now upon us, this was an absolute necessity. The temporary plant is piped directly into the existing system and the three inoperable boilers have been taken out of service as a result of this installation and their complete failure,” Friday said.
NR-W Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti, Sr. and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Robert D. Magin spent much of the Thanksgiving break working to make sure the high school had heat and was ready for students and staff.
Magin was also told the third might not last the week. “At that point, when we were told that, the district made arrangements to get quotes for portable heating,” Vigliotti said. “That process took two or three days. On the 23rd, Landry Mechanical was given a contract to in- stall a 6.6 million BTU portable boiler. The 23rd through the 27th, while we were on break, they installed that, and converted our system over to that boiler. As of the afternoon of the 27th, it was heating our building. It’s just ironic that it happened that fast,” Vigliotti said, noting that the district had already been planning to replace the three boilers in a future capital project.
Mobilization and installation of the portable unit was $78,000, and the first month’s rent was $17,000. This means $95,000 was paid so far. The district will continue to pay $17,000 per month until it rebuilds its heat plant and no longer needs the temporary unit.
As a precaution, the district is looking into the possibility of obtaining a second portable boiler to serve as backup to the initial temporary unit.
According to the District, the severity of the boilers was unexpected and a surprise. Particularly the condition of the heat exchangers. The 18 yearold plant was beyond its useful life and was identified for replacement in the District’s upcoming capital project plans. Unfortunately, more immediate attention was necessitated due to the failures.
The next step is for the district to rebuild its heating plant, something district officials estimate will cost about $450,000.
The $450,000 includes replacement piping and ancillary equipment in the heating plant, but there won’t be replacement piping throughout the building.
The rebuilding project, Vigliotti said, will have to be approved by the state. “We’re projecting that it would start sometime after the heating season, in May or June,” he said.
“We anticipate that when we start school in September, all the work will be done.”