School board approves energy-saving projects

Published 6:39 am Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Austin Public Schools approved a variety of energy-saving maintenance projects at the monthly school board meeting Monday.

Ellis Middle School will see their boiler replaced and converted to hot water heating, and their swimming pool heating system converted; Banfield Elementary will have the boiler replaced and converted to hot water heating; and an engineering study will be done district-wide.

The projects are contracted to McKinstry Essention.

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The total cost is $739,000 with a 15-year repayment. The district will pay $31,000 each year and save $17,530 on its utility bills as a result, according to district documents.

β€œThe boilers are going to need to be replaced soon anyway, and this is a great funding vehicle to get this work done,” said district director of finance and operations Mark Stotts.

The school board also approved a $12.69 million bond issue to fund the replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at six of its facilities to meet ventilation standards.

The district is eligible for the issue of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds because of their number of low-income students, and private matching grants issued by the Hormel Foundation.

Stotts said this is the largest allocation ever of such bonds in Minnesota.