MADAWASKA– In tough economic times, it can be refreshing to hear that something costs less than originally anticipated, but at the Madawaska school committee meeting April 10, Superintendent Terry Wood told committee members that the biomass boiler project is one half million under budget.
“We’re right about on schedule,” said Wood at the meeting.
Wood said Phase One of the project will wrap up on or around May 7 and the engineering firm coordinating the project, WBRC, opened the bids for Phase Two last week. A representative from the Austrian company that made the boiler will visit the school shortly to familiarize the custodial staff with how it operates. Wood said the actual start-up will take place in October.
The district might use a small amount of the money saved for the installation of solar panels for domestic hot water according to Wood. The administration removed the solar component from the original plans, but since the budget for the project has room, Wood said they are looking into reintroducing it.
“We do want to continue to look for green projects for Madawaska,” said Wood.
In other school committee news, workers completed a recent installation of new lights in the Madawaska Middle High School gym, though Principal Wayne Anderson reported that the ends of the gym were still in need of a few additional rows of lighting to take care of dim spots over the bleacher area. The new lighting, which is motion activated, should save in electricity costs, but there’s an additional benefit that photographers will enjoy.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said Anderson. “No more yellow pictures.”
The school committee also accepted a resignation letter from education technician Linda Albert who has worked for the department for 25 years and now plans to retire.
Students at MMHS may soon have a presence on the school committee. Wood said that she would like develop protocol on the expectations of students who sit on the school committee so that by fall of this year, students could elect a junior and a senior to the seats.
Two students, Megan Daigle and Heather Picard, developed a video clip called ‘Did you know?’ that has aired on WOWL Channel 16. The girls came to the school committee meeting at Anderson’s request to show the video to the committee members. The video highlighted facts about MMHS that the girls said set the school apart from other schools. For instance, ‘Did you know’ that all Madawaska eighth grade students are trained in CPR? and ‘Did you know’ that the school has eight published authors? or ‘Did you know’ that the average teacher at MMHS grades 7,000 assignments in a year?
The school committee appreciated the effort and encouraged a sequel.
Anderson said, “It’s a quality piece of work. I’m very proud of both of them.”
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