District addresses broken electrical panel, hot water tank in Southborough schools

176

By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter

The Margaret A. Neary Elementary School is located at 53 Parkerville Rd.
The Margaret A. Neary Elementary School is located at 53 Parkerville Rd.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

SOUTHBOROUGH – A broken electrical panel and a leaky hot water tank at two Southborough schools have prompted recent responses from the district officials, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Keith Lavoie told the Southborough School Committee on Sept. 9.

Lavoie said the failure of the electric panel came to a head over the Labor Day weekend at P. Brent Trottier Middle School. 

Lavoie said the large electric panel at Trottier receives service from National Grid. 

“We don’t know exactly how it failed,” Lavoie said.

The panel is about 20 years old, though. Lavoie said that is the equipment’s life expectancy. 

“It’s not 100 percent surprising that it did fail,” he said. “It is surprising about how quickly it failed, and that’s something we’re investigating.”

The district rented an alternate generator that powered the building after the panel failed, Lavoie said. The district was working on securing a new panel, as of Lavoie’s Sept. 9 comments. 

At the Margaret A. Neary Elementary School, meanwhile, Lavoie said that the district had, a couple of months prior to his presentation, learned there was a leak in a hot water retention tank.

The Margaret A. Neary Elementary School is located at 53 Parkerville Rd.  (Photo/Laura Hayes)
The Margaret A. Neary Elementary School is located at 53 Parkerville Rd.
(Photo/Laura Hayes)

Several vendors told the district that Neary needed to go to a new system, Lavoie said. The “leader in the clubhouse,” he continued, was a gas hot water tank, which would replace the original tank in another location within the boiler room. 

“It is not interrupting any of the services or any of the access to water that we would need,” Lavoie said. 

The hot water retention tank would be drained and removed, Lavoie said. The project may have to be done over vacation so that school is not interrupted, he added.

Both projects will be funded through the district’s facilities revolving account. 

The district had hoped to complete the hot water project over the summer, but that was postponed to December after it became challenging to acquire parts. 

“I think one of the impacts that COVID-19 has had is in terms of availability of some of the parts,” Superintendent Gregory Martineau said.