College Place schools receive grant for boiler system

The state awarded the district $85,000 for repairs to two boilers.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- College Place Public Schools has secured $85,000 in state grant money for a boiler system.

The local district is among 39 in the state to receive grant awards not exceeding $100,000 to make urgent repairs and renovations.

The state's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction announced the grant recipients this morning. The Small Repair Grant program, created and funded by the state Legislature, secured $3 million for some 47 capital construction work projects.

Superintendent Tim Payne said the new boiler system will be installed at Meadow Brook Intermediate School, where the existing boiler system and its back-up malfunctioned and ultimately died earlier this year.

Payne applied for the grant program this summer, and learned his district was among the recipients on Thursday. He anticipated work on the boiler beginning soon, so students could be guaranteed proper heating as the cold months quickly approach.

Payne said securing the grant was a huge financial relief to the district.

"Now instead of the district having to pick up this bill, we have a grant to get both boilers repaired and back online," he said.

The grants are meant to provide "immediate assistance for unforseen health and safety risks, fire and building code deficiencies, insufficient access for disabled students and asbestos abatement and removal," according to a news release by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is administering the grant program.

"This is a great program that distributes funds to school districts for small repairs," said Randy Dorn, state superintendent of public instruction, in the release. "The selected districts can get critical projects done, such as electrical or plumbing work."

About 120 school district applications were submitted, and underwent a rigorous competitive selection process. In the end, the top 47 projects in the 39 districts were chosen. More than $10 million in repairs was being sought by the competing districts.

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