The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 13, 2007


Update on Carlisle School maintenance projects

A roofing contractor will examine the circular part of Carlisle School's Spalding Building roof this summer to see if any structural work needs to be done. The roof in this section of the 1956 building has a bowl-like design, and while it has a drain, the design causes it to hold rainwater rather than shed it. Boards in the 12 x 12-foot flat section of the bowl will be removed to examine the wood structure beneath. The boards will be repaired or replaced as necessary, according to school Buildings and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery.

The decking on the bowl section is covered with rolled tarpaper, hot tar, and a layer of pea stones, and sits above the boys' and girls' restrooms and custodial closets. Patches were recently made to stop the roof from leaking.

In the school building condition report completed in 2005 by HMFH architects as part of the school's Master Plan, engineers recommended Spalding's roof be completely replaced. Flannery estimated this spring it would cost $225,000 for structural design modifications to the circular roof on Spalding, plus $225,000 for a new roof for the entire building.

The School Building Committee plans to ask voters for design funds for a new building to replace Spalding at a Special Town Meeting this fall. If approved, the earliest a new building could be completed would be 2010, according to Christy Barbee, chair of the committee.

The roof over the straight wing of Spalding has asphalt shingles installed in 1995. A section over one of the kindergarten classrooms leaked this year and the school recently made simple patch repairs to the area to prevent further leaks.

Leaks over the Corey Building cafeteria skylight were repaired during the school year.

This summer, bricks on the east side of Corey will be treated with a waterproofing material to prevent leaks from wind-driven rain. The brick front of Corey was treated two summers ago and the waterproofing "worked great," according to Flannery.

Deteriorating Spalding boiler

Because Spalding is not connected to other buildings, it has its own heating boiler installed in 1987. It has a night setting allowing it to cool off, and due to hot- and cold-water temperature fluctuations, the boiler is rusting and deteriorating. Flannery estimated this spring that a new boiler, air handler, and ductwork would cost close to $250,000.

Modern high-efficiency condensing boilers, like the one installed in the Wilkins Building this winter, have improved technology but are more costly than a conventional hot-water boiler. Two new boilers,one high-efficiency and one conventional, heat the Wilkins, Robbins and Grant/Link Buildings. Corey, added in the late 1980s, has its own separate heating system. Natural gas is used to heat the buildings.

New locks, telephone system

Since voters approved new locks at this spring's Town Meeting, the school has received quotes from several vendors for new "lock-down" locks. Teachers will have a key to lock classrooms from the inside in an emergency, rather than opening the door to the outside hallway to lock the door. The locks will still open from the inside and allow classrooms to exit easily if they need to, according to Flannery. Lock bids are due back by the end of July.

Flannery, School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman and Building Committee member Don Rober also prepared specifications for a new telephone system for the school. The group researched different phone systems by contacting other school systems to see which vendors and equipment are recommended.

Voice-over Internet Protocol systems (VOIP) were considered and, though the school ruled out the idea at this time, the new system will allow an upgrade to an Internet phone system in the future.

Flannery said Internet systems do not work when the school loses power, so a separate standard (land line) phone is still required. Research also indicated that the VOIP systems work best for towns or cities that have multiple schools, allowing the schools to link together.

After weighing the options, the school decided to choose a simpler and less costly phone system as the best option for the Carlisle School at this time.

Electricity contract

Zimmerman said the school recently signed on for a 48-month guaranteed price contract with Direct Energy, an electricity supplier based in Wallingford, Connecticut. The school business manager obtained the contract through the state agency PowerOptions and HEFA, the Massachusetts Health and Education Facilities Authority, which works with schools and colleges to secure best pricing. The flat-rate contract for 12.2 to 12.4 cents per kilowatt-hour ensures that the school will pay a stable price for its electricity supply for the next four years. The school will still pay NStar a separate fee for electricity delivery charges.

Emergency generator

The school, along with the Board of Health, continues to research purchasing a power generator to supply the school with power in an emergency. A natural gas or propane generator could cost $400-500,000 including electrical work that needs to be done to the school buildings and electrical switching gear, according to Flannery. Though the price may seem high, he said public construction bidding and prevailing wages laws often add 15-20 percent to the cost of a project. A gasoline or diesel generator cannot be used because fuel storage tanks are not permitted near the school's public water supply.

In order for Corey to serve as a town shelter in an emergency, the school would need to have enough power to run the well-water system and to supply the Corey Building with power and heat.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito