Heating system fails at College Place school

The problem is expected to be fixed by the time school starts again next week.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- Classes are out for the week at College Place Public Schools, and so is Davis Elementary's heating system.

As school got out for the Thanksgiving break Friday, the school's new boiler shut down when the building's heat exchanger malfunctioned, officials said.

Although the boiler is working fine, Superintendent Tim Payne said the heat exchanger stopped working, and stopped heating water to the right temperature to get the building warmed.

Davis Principal Chris Drabek said parent/teacher conferences scheduled Monday and today went on as scheduled, although in chilly classrooms.

Replacement parts have been ordered and are expected to arrive by Wednesday, with installation and repair taking place by the end of the week, Drabek said. Students return to school Nov. 29.

Payne said the system is working somewhat, but each day it works a bit less. He said the highest the building could be heated during the first day of conferences was about 60 degrees.

"Each day that fails more and more," Payne said.

Payne said a new Davis boiler was recently installed and got online about a month ago. But the greater heating and cooling system at the school is old.

"That's the problem with the building," Payne said. "It keeps bleeding us for money."

Davis Elementary has not had major additions or renovations since about the 1980s. The original schoolhouse, built in 1906, was knocked down and rebuilt in the 1950s, with additions made in the '80s.

Payne said things like class sizes and curriculum are being negatively affected because maintenance costs are driving expenses at the school.

"You have to have heat," he said.

Maria P. Gonzalez can be reached at mariagonzalez@wwub.com or 526-8317. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/schoolhousemissives.

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