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Renovations begin at Appleton Village School

By Dwight Collins | Jun 28, 2016
Courtesy of: Cordjia Capital Project Group The fifth-grade classroom renovations are under way to replace air exchange systems at Appleton Village School.

Appleton — With school out of session for the summer, renovation projects have begun at the Appleton Village School. Last March, residents approved a $650,000 bond to cover the cost of the upgrades.

Heather Wyman, chairman of the Facilities Committee, said Bowman Construction, of Newport, had removed the heating and cooling duct work last week and the goal is to start installing the new equipment this week.

Wyman also wants to remind residents that the school grounds are closed during the construction for safety reasons.

"The project has gotten off to a good start," Wyman said. "They [Bowman] have removed all the air ducts and the terminal air blenders and next week the plan is to start installing the new equipment."

Wyman praised the committee and everyone involved for the amount of time and effort they have put into the project and said a lot of money will be saved through self-performing work done through volunteers, including board members.

Wyman credits Peter Beckett, Keith Rose and Mitchell Pendleton with being instrumental in finding ways to reduce the cost of the project and their expertise in specific fields have been invaluable.

"We have worked very hard and all the members have spent an unbelievable amount of time on the project," she said. "Keith has provided a lot of the labor of the self-performing work like the replacing of the LED lighting and deserves a ton of credit,"

Other board members include, Deb Keiran, and Scott Wiley. School Union 69 Superintendent Dianne Helprin has also contributed a great deal, Wyman said. The owner representative for the project is Mitch Daigle of Cordjia Capital Projects Group, of Camden, and the engineer firm on the project is Allied Engineering, of Portland.

In July 2015, Appleton Village School hired Cordjia Capital Projects Group to perform an assessment on the property and evaluate the mechanical systems.

In November, the committee was formed to review the findings and develop a scope of work for renovations, and to address what they believe are the most pressing issues. The committee has also been working on a long-range plan for maintenance and improvements.

The pneumatic system that controls the majority of the heat in the building is antiquated and costly to repair and does not work properly. Installing digital controls make it possible to save energy by establishing setbacks for times when the building is not occupied.

Ventilation issues were a big concern and four of the seven air bender units that provide air to the classrooms are connected to solar collectors on the exterior to warm the air. However, a poor design allowed cold air in when the sun was not out, so the vents have been blocked and their use discontinued. Also, when the addition was built in 2005, half of the electrical service for the units was diverted to power the computer room.

The project tackles the site and envelope of the building, including repair of door egress, walkways, playground and exterior brick sealant. The final grouping is replacing interior and exterior lights with LED bulbs, replacing wireless clocks and bell system, intercom control placement and restroom ADA-compliance items.

Appleton Village School was built in 1982 and had substantial additions in 1989 and 2005.

Courier Publications reporter Dwight Collins can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at

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