Norwich City Council approves $600k for Stanton HVAC

NORWICH – On Monday, Norwich City Council voted unanimously to approve $ 600,000 to replace the HVAC system at John B. Stanton Elementary School. During a public comment period, Heather Romanski, chairman of the Norwich Education Council, said hardware is in a “critical phase”.

“It needs to be replaced urgently, and I use the word desperate to be dramatic,” said Romanski.

The city is aware of the need to replace boilers and other components of Stanton’s HVAC system since 2019, as Chief Inspector Kirsten Stringfellow stated in her April 2021 report to the Education Council. That same report also mentioned that last year the city told the district that the HVAC project would be installed this summer.

However, some of the meeting residents, including Rodney Bowie, were critical of the cost of the project

“I’ve worked on a lot of air conditioning systems, and frankly, it still sounds like a lot of money,” Bowie said.

At the meeting, Pro Tem Council Chairman Mark Bettencourt pointed out that the original bids were a whopping $ 2 million.

“That was us choking, numbers like that,” said Bettencourt.

Councilor Derell Wilson said it is important to be proactive.

“It’s about the education of children,” said Wilson. “We don’t have to be in this position with massive failures trying to figure out how to deal with them.”

While Stanton is on the list of schools with planned renovations, Mayor Peter Nystrom pointed out that the system the $ 600,000 will be spent on is modular in nature.

“Additional units may be added in the future, which clarifies the issue of the plan to expand the Stanton school,” said Nystrom.

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