BROOKFIELD New air conditioner unit needed at the high school
BROOKFIELD — An air conditioning system in the high school broke last week, and it could cost as much as $160,000 to replace.
The 45-year-old unit in the auditorium failed, forcing the district to close school early on Thursday because of the hot weather. The system was original to the auditorium and has been patched before, but a new unit is needed now.
“It’s over,” Superintendent John Barile told school board members at their recent meeting. “It really is beyond repair.”
Temperatures have cooled, but the corresponding heat and air handling system is on its way out, too, which would be a problem come winter. School officials said buying a new heat and air conditioning unit is the best option.
“It would be energy efficient,” said Eve Sturdevant, a Board of Education member. “It would save money in electricity and we wouldn’t be putting money into it for repairs.”
She said the air conditioning unit has malfunctioned before.
“This has been dying for a while,” Sturdevant said. “[There have been] little fixes here and there, anything that could have been done to prolong its life. It has well lived its years.”
Officials are still getting firm estimates for the unit, but it could cost between $120,000 to $160,000, which is about how much the district estimates it has in surplus funds from last fiscal year.
The school board will need to work with the finance board to determine whether the district can put this surplus toward the unit or how else it could be paid for.
The finance board could discuss the issue at its meeting Thursday.
The unit will need to be custom-made for the school and could take six to eight weeks to deliver and install.
“Time is of the essence,” Barile said. “These units that we need to obtain aren’t just sitting on a shelf.”