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BH-BL passes one proposition, fails two

The second largest project will actually cut the district's energy costs the most. An approximately $3.9 million will be needed to convert the 47-year-old steam heating system at Stevens Elementary School to a hot water heating system. Multer said that Stevens Elementary is the last school to switch over to this more energy efficient system and that it saves a significant amount of money.

"We estimate this will save about $100,000 a year and we will probably start work this coming summer, which is good news for 2010-11 school budget," said Multer.

The last major project will be a $1.7 million plan to replace the remaining single-pane windows at the high school, middle school and Charlton Heights. Upgrading the windows will eventually save the district money over time, said Multer.

Although those three projects are the focus of the $12, 538, 550 approved proposition, several projects"while a smaller scale"will go far in reducing the district's energy costs for years to come. About $375,000 will be used to replace worn out and deteriorated exterior doors at all five schools and about $1.5 million will go to upgrade Charlton Heights' boiler and the school's heating control system so that temperatures will be properly regulated. Multer said that while the schools all have modern efficient boilers, they still rely on old fashioned temperature controls, which leads to uneven temperature distribution.

"Rooms on the sunny side might be sweltering but rooms on other side might be colder. Controlling levels of heat is much more efficient than opening windows," said Multer. "Many people don't understand what a big and complicated system it is to heat such an enormous building with wings. The upgraded system will allow heat to be sent only to rooms that need it."

The least costly but perhaps most essential renovation will be a $97,500 project to install air-conditioning in the Pashley School cafetorium, said Multer. The elementary school is the district's only two-story building without a large meeting room with air-conditioning, something that is virtually a must on the few days with summer-like temperatures.

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