In a unanimous vote on Jan. 14, the Ellwood City School Board decided to replace a broken boiler at Perry Lower Intermediate at a cost of $90,000.
Perry has two boilers but only one is needed to properly heat the building. Both are over 50 years old and are well past their expected years of service, according to Business Manager Richard Zarone.
“It could last five years, it could last five minutes,” Zarone said regarding the functional old boiler.
Zarone presented the board with an option to replace both boilers at a cost of $150,000. Replacing both this year would save money on architectural specifications that would have to be done again if the second boiler was replaced down the road.
However, the board decided only to replace the broken one and keep the still-functioning boiler as a back up.
On Monday, Jan. 11, building and grounds Superintendent Steve Schuster informed the board that one of the two boilers at Perry was broke and would need repaired or replaced. However, by Thursday, Schuster confirmed that repair was not an option.
The old boilers rust from the inside out, so while the outside can be repaired, the real damage is out of reach and undetectable.
In addition to the $90,000, there will be an architectural fee of $12,700.