Some high school students and teachers in Oklahoma City received an early Christmas present this month as Hydronic Systems and AERCO were able to come through with a re-design of a mechanical room and installation of two boilers before Oklahoma went into a deep freeze.

Cary Simmons, director of maintenance for Putnam City Public Schools, had been working with his crew to get one of three boilers repaired at Putnam City West High School when a second one unexpectedly went out on November 27. With the weather forecast calling for below freezing temperatures on the horizon, that meant the school district was literally racing against time to get heat restored to the main portion of the building that houses about 50 classrooms.

“That’s the most important part of the building to keep warm for the students and staff. They spend most of the day in the classrooms. You can deal with no heat a little better when it’s the gym or the cafeteria, but it’s important for the students to be able to concentrate and learn in a comfortable environment,” said Simmons. Approximately 1,200 students attend the high school.

Simmons knew who to call to help solve his problem. One of his first phone calls was to Mark Boozer at Hydronic Systems. Shortly after contacting Mark an engineering team was assembled. Simmons, Boozer, Lance LaRue from Paradigm Engineering, Dustin Demory from Innovative Mechanical and Jeff Barnes, the district’s mechanical contractor, got to work. David Swain, Hydronic Systems service technician, performed the startup work. The school district’s electrical department also was part of the team.  To save money, they performed all of the electrical wiring on the project.

It took just one week and one day to get the system back up and running. The school had been operating with two boilers with one being located in the basement mechanical room and the other in the rooftop penthouse mechanical room. It was quickly determined this was not an efficient operating system so the engineering team completely redesigned the plant and moved the two basement boilers up to the penthouse.

“All-in-all, this was a three-week process and that is unheard of, especially for a school district,” said Simmons, adding, “Hydronic Systems’ contributions to the process were instrumental.”

“AERCO immediately sent the boilers to Oklahoma City and they arrived within three days. While we waited on the boilers to arrive, we re-designed the system for optimum efficiency. In addition to putting a lot of effort into getting the equipment here as fast as we could for the benefit of the students and teachers, we also put a lot of thought into adding value for the school district by creating a more efficient operating system,” said Boozer. “The boiler in the penthouse mechanical room was being fed by piping that ran from the basement boilers. That might have been the best solution when they decided to move one of the boilers to the penthouse but it just wasn’t efficient,” he added.

The school district is more than pleased with the outcome. “I’ve known Mark and Lance for years and have worked with them in the past. We have a great deal of trust in Mark and the entire Hydronic Systems team. We enjoy working with them. This was a really good group of guys. We put our heads together, figured out what was going on and how to make it better. It was a successful and fun project,” Simmons commented.