NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 29, 2011

Pentucket earns $5.54M for energy conservation

Financing will be used for elementary school improvements

WEST NEWBURY — The Pentucket Regional School District is getting a $5.54 million boost in its effort to make its buildings more energy efficient.

The school district last week received the largest share of $16 million in low-interest, federally subsidized financing provided to eight communities across the state.

In its application, Pentucket officials said they plan to use the funding to offset the cost of efficiency measures aimed at reducing energy consumption by 20 percent as part of building projects at its four elementary schools.

"The district applied for and was very fortunate to receive a qualified energy conservation bond allocation as a potential means of financing the towns' portions of the green repair projects taking place at all four of the district's elementary schools," Pentucket Business Manager Amy Pocsik said.

The federal program is designed to support renewable energy creation and efforts to cut municipal energy consumption as well as to fund municipal wind power and anaerobic digestion projects. Projects in Belchertown, Cohassett, Deerfield, Fairhaven, Gill, Kingston and Marshfield will also receive a portion of the $16 million pot.

Energy-efficient measures are being incorporated into several building projects in the Pentucket district.

As part of a green school repair component to a $5.2 million expansion project at Bagnall Elementary School in Groveland, the building's heating equipment is being updated and doors, windows and the roof are being replaced The anticipated cost for the energy improvements is $2.4 million.

In West Newbury, energy efficiencies included in the Page Elementary School renovation project target replacing the boiler and removing two of the four systems in the boiler room as well as installing a new roof and windows. Last fall, voters approved spending $10 million for the Page renovation project.

Pentucket School Committee Chairwoman Chris Reading said the Page Building Committee is waiting for the state Historical Commission to approve the green repair phase of the project before ordering the windows and roof. Reading said it is unlikely the new boiler will be up and running before the Oct. 15 deadline for turning on heat in the district schools, so Page School will need to rely on its existing boilers for one more winter.

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