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Making it comfortable

An engineering firm will review heating and cooling options for the proposed combination High School-Middle School

Saugus High School Principal Michael Hashem and Belmonte Middle School Principal Kerry Robbins both dread certain times of the school year when students just can’t stand the heat.

“We had a girls tournament basketball game when it was up to 100 degrees in the gym,” Hashem said this week during a subcommittee meeting of the town panel involved with the planning of the proposed combination High School-Middle School.

Robbins shared her own horror story about a school building that gets too hot.

“The third floor is at least 120 degrees in May. It’s horrible,” she said.

Dominick B. Puniello, a principal of the engineering consultants hired to work with the High School Building Committee, plans to look at several different systems and study their cost-effectiveness and efficiency.

Hashem said some of the options that Puniello briefed the subcommittee on this week were too complicated and technical for him to understand.

“As long as there’s a comfortable learning environment throughout the year,” Hashem said he really didn’t have a preference.

Partial air conditioning for parts of the school will be one of the options studied.

The costs of the various options could range from $50,000 to $100,000, according to Puniello.

“We’re going to put together the cost estimates for all of the options,” Puniello said in an interview Monday.

“But the one that might cost more may be better because it’s more energy efficient. And if it’s saving a lot of energy, at the end of 30 years, it may save you more money,” he said.

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