CHESHIRE — The Town Council approved a package of energy efficiency projects at Cheshire High School this week that town and education officials believe will save more than $20,000 annually.
Councilors unanimously allocated $52,000 for an insulating project and approved two others.
Vincent Masciana, the school district’s chief operations officer, said JK Energy Solutions of Thomaston would insulate the steam pipes that run in a tunnel under an older portion of Cheshire High School. The insulated pipes bleed heat, Masciana said, and make the classrooms and offices above the tunnel uncomfortably warm. He called it an “ongoing problem.”
Insulating the pipes would save $7,300 per year.
The two other projects include adding more LED lights throughout the high school and replacing motors in the school’s freezers and refrigerators.
Masciana said a combination of loans and town money would fund the projects. The overall effort would be paid back through energy savings in about five years, he said, estimating $23,000 in savings annually once completed.
The council also approved the removal of oil storage tanks at Chapman, Humiston and Dodd schools. It also agreed to seek bids for replacing tanks at Doolittle and Darcy schools.
State officials conducted a surprise visit to town schools last year that led to repairs, removals or replacements of the oil tanks.
New parks director
John Gawlak, the town’s new parks director, attended Tuesday’s council meeting and was introduced to the council. Gawlak was the Wallingford parks director for 16 years and worked in that town for more than 30.
“You come with a great resume, you come with a lot of people who recommend you highly,” said council chairman Rob Oris. “We appreciate you choosing Cheshire.”
Gawlak said he was ready for a new town and its challenges.
Town Manager Sean Kimball said Gawlak began this week.
“I think he has experience in the areas where we could use some help,” Kimball said. “It’s just been two days but I think he’s fitting in wonderfully.”
Gawlak, 54, retired from Wallingford and replaces Josh Medeiros, who left in February.