Wood pellets to help heat Greenville middle-high school this fall

By Diana Bowley, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 15, 2011, at 4:33 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — Work is progressing on the renovations and upgrades being made in the Greenville Middle and High School for energy savings, but the work won’t be completed before school starts on Sept. 6.

School officials in July authorized an upgrade to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the school and the installation of a wood pellet boiler, the latter of which is being funded, in part, by a $750,000 federal stimulus grant awarded through the Maine Forest Service. The remainder of the project’s cost, $1,250,000, is being financed through a local bond referendum approved on June 8, 2010.

While the project got off to a rocky start, Greenville School Superintendent Beth Lorigan said Monday that currently “everything is going as planned.”

The school committee had initially planned to install a biomass boiler, but residents in June defeated a referendum article that would have allowed the construction of an accessory building to house the boiler and its fuel. Some residents felt it was not in the best interest of the town to invest all the money into energy improvements when there were other issues that needed to be addressed. After that vote, the committee decided to install a pellet boiler, instead.

TRANE, a worldwide heating, ventilation and air conditioning firm, was awarded the contract for the project and has tapped some local contractors for the work, which includes changing the heating system from steam to hot water, improving the ventilation system, removing asbestos from pipes and insulating the building, Lorigan said.

The removal of asbestos in conjunction with the project is almost completed and work is commencing on the upgrade, she said. “We’re looking at the project ending at the end of November,” she added.

Inmates in the Charleston Correctional Facility’s restitution program have assisted in the renovation project, according to Lorigan. “They’ve been a tremendous help,” she said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/15/news/piscataquis/wood-pellets-to-help-heat-greenville-middle-high-school-this-fall/ printed on September 20, 2014