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Council concerned about high school air conditioning issues

June 14, 2013

Council votes to pay portion of $72,000 systems study to determine problems

NORTH KINGSTOWN—The North Kingstown Town Council spoke with representatives from the school department on Monday evening to discuss the ongoing heating and air conditioning issues which have impacted North Kingstown High School since it was built in 2001. Members of the Facilities Subcommittee were on hand to discuss the school committee’s request of $72,300 in reimbursement for a study which they will conduct to address the high school’s problems.

“We have been reviewing this for the past month or so, and it has been determined that that HVAC system needs to be commissioned, or brought back to the specifications that it was at years ago,” said Mary King, director of administrative services.
James Grundy of the Facilities Subcommittee gave an overview of the specific issues with which the high school has been dealing. Currently, temperatures can reach over 100 degrees on the third floor of the high school because of improper systems installation, among other issues.
“We went back to see if it was commissioned and it appears it wasn’t, and we found that the numbers [for items such as] air flow and water flow were no where in line where they should be,” said Grundy. “The boilers were never set up to run in sequence, the first boiler comes on and the latter boilers virtually never run and the pumps come on when we turn the heat on and never come off.”
“There is a tremendous amount of damage being done to the system and there is the potential for long term damage to the system, which is doing things that it wasn’t designed for,” he added.
Many of the issues, stated Grundy, were installations or commissions that should have been completed as construction was finished at the high school. He also stressed to the council that the $72,300 is only to conduct a study of the high school’s HVAC systems, and they will not know about the cost of repairs until such preliminary work is finished.
“We don’t know what can be adjusted and brought into compliance or what is just wrong,” said Grundy. “We found components that were not installed, but are just there. There was a lot of equipment that just wasn’t hooked up.”

For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the latest issue of the Standard Times.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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