Helen Haller Elementary should be heating up in a few weeks.
Contractors are beginning work to install 25 new units.
John McAndie, maintenance and operations supervisor, said the 5- to 7.2-kilowatt units replace electric heaters that were installed in 1972 or during an expansion in 1979.
The school received a grant six years ago for about $120,000 that was enough to replace heating units in six classrooms.
“Now we’re doing the library, teacher’s lounge and remainder of classrooms,” McAndie said.
“Those heaters are very old and straight resistance (to the cold). We should definitely see an improvement from these new heat pumps.”
Sequim School District leaders have wanted to replace the heaters for some time.
Principal Patra Boots said the new heaters should help the classroom environment — the old heaters are very loud.
McAndie measured the old heaters’ decibel levels at above 35, which is the maximum noise level for classrooms.
The new heat units bite the cold, noise and rising expenses.
Brian Lewis, Sequim schools’ business manager, said they should save the school district about $7,000 per year in energy costs.
The 25 new units cost about $900,000. Sequim School District received a $425,000 grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for the project. It is borrowing the remaining $475,000 on a low-interest loan.
McAndie said the project should be done in three weeks and the units will be installed after school and on weekends.
Contractors are Bellevue Mechanical, Primo Construction and Angeles Electric.