Argo High shopping for boilers
Current “workhorses” date back to the 1970s
By Steve Metsch
Argo Community High School is in the market for new boilers.
The current three cast-iron boilers, in the lower level of the original building, have been “workhorses” since the 1970 and provide heat for the old building, business manager Joe Murphy said
“They have served us well,” he said.
But it’s time they are replaced, Murphy told the District 217 school board at its Oct. 11 meeting.
“We’re not approving a bid at this time, simply an architect and engineering contract so we can go out and prepare the bid documents,” Murphy told the trustees. The board approved the contract.
The three current boilers can be replaced with two high-efficiency boilers expected to reduce operating costs, Murphy said.
“The design will be that one boiler will be sufficient,” Murphy said, “but the recommendation is we go with two. You always run them in tandem so your backup is not sitting idle.”
Giving a quick tour of the boiler room, he said “we have a third boiler and it’s still working, but it has a leak. The way they build these things, you have to take it apart to get in to fix the leak. It’s like a puzzle. It’s kind of fascinating.”
The repair bill for an old boiler “would almost be the cost of a new one.”
Murphy is seeking grants to help buy new boilers. Board member Nick Caprio asked if the boilers will be replaced if no grants were secured, and Murphy said they would be.
He expects the bids to be brought to the board in February. New boilers will be installed in the spring “as soon as I don’t need heat anymore,” Murphy said.
In other business, the board recognized three students for outstanding achievement. Principal Christopher Covino introduced the students to the board.
Chyna Bennett received an award of excellence from the National Academy of Future Science and Technology Leaders. Bennet was in Boston over the summer for the event, where she said she “got a taste of college” and “met a lot of really cool people.”
Nigel Jones was honored for his participation in the Illinois Art Education Association Student Art Show. His self-portrait will tour the state, Covino said.
Francisco Madera received a letter of commendation in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Madera is “our only national merit commended scholar this year. It’s a great distinction,” Covino said.
In other business, the board approved a resolution commemorating Moraine Valley Community College for its 50th anniversary.
The board approved an agreement with the Summit Park District to allow use of the field house and Swanson Gym for soccer and basketball games.
A Veteran’s Day assembly will be held in the Portillo Performing Arts Center during the school day Nov. 9, followed by jazz band concert at 7 p.m. that evening. School will be closed Nov. 10 in observance of Veterans Day.
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