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Robertson replaces potentially dangerous boiler

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By Don Pace

The potentially dangerous boiler at Robertson High School has been replaced.

And the leaking roof at Sierra Vista Elementary School will be repaired in short order, officials promised.

“We’ve got a brand spanking new boiler that was built for the Las Vegas City Schools district,” Superintendent Rick Romero said at last week’s school board meeting. “We didn’t have any choice, and I didn’t think the board would appreciate us not having heat at Robertson High School during the winter season.”

Romero said the original plan called for a rental, which would have cost around $80,000, while smaller boilers were installed. 

“So we had a new boiler that was built in about two weeks, specifically for our heating system —  it’s almost like it was handmade. We paid $100,000 for it, and it’s brand new. So it’s hooked up and ready to go,” Romero said. 

At the September board meeting, Romero said the behemoth and cracked boiler that heated all buildings on the Robertson campus had to be replaced because under the right circumstances, it could explode. He said the old boiler would be replaced with five new boilers at buildings around campus. He said the preliminary estimate was about $900,000.

“But this could solve our problem. This boiler may satisfy our needs, and we may not have to go with the next phase of the project, which would be smaller boilers in other buildings. Remember the reason for the smaller boilers is a long-term fix that would bring down our utility costs. But for now it gives our kids heat, and it’s safe, I can guarantee our parents that we have a safe system now,” Romero said. 

At the September meeting, Romero also said a much-needed roofing project at Sierra Vista would cost about $600,000, with the state picking up about two-thirds of the cost.

Since then, Romero said he had met with district architect Antonio Ortega and looked at roofing problems at Sierra Vista Elementary.

“We believe for about $200,000, we can repair the roof before winter sets in. The skylights that sit about three feet above the roof-line and run the length of the front and rear of the school building have always been the biggest problem. We’re looking at bringing in a contractor under an emergency procurement and get that done, hopefully, within the next month,” Romero said.

In answer to several questions from the board about the cost of the roofing project, Romero said architect Ortega has been frugal in spending the district’s money.

“Mr. Ortega has been really good about making sure we’re not going to spend a lot of dollars on something that doesn’t need to be done, so I will be working closely with him as we pursue this project,” Romero said.