It appears that there has been yet another heating mishap at Newman School. So far this school year the underground oil tank has leaked, the safety valve in the furnace room has malfunctioned and approximately 22 gallons of oil spilled, overflowing the catch basin and running onto the furnace room floor, and the condensers for the temporary heating system have frozen at least twice. Now the switch for the boilers which distribute heat to the entire school is freezing up.

Upon arrival at school today, students and parents were greeted with a plume of brown smoke floating in the air above the building where the furnace room is located, while the school itself had no heat. Average temperatures hovered around 55 degrees throughout the school until at least 10:30 in the morning, and even after that time certain areas were still well under 60 degrees. The switch, which failed sometime during the night on Monday, caused a portion of the heating system to burn out, hence the reason for the smoke. But since there are no smoke alarms in the furnace room, no one was aware of the situation until 7:30 Tuesday morning.

The apparent reason for the switch failure is the extreme cold temperatures outside. So for the next 24 hours the switch in the furnace room will be monitored to make certain that it does not freeze again. However, since the temperature is supposed to drop lower and lower with each passing day this week, one would assume that the switch would need to be monitored until the temperature warms up, although to what degree is anyone’s guess.

We are all waiting with baited breath to hear about the next heating emergency at Newman.