On Monday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m., the Parkland School District will celebrate the completion of a new gas pipeline to Parkland High School that is expected to make the facility more efficient and save $400,000 in the first year.
The special celebratory event will be held in the Parkland High School library and will include remarks by school board President Jayne Bartlett, Superintendent Richard Sniscak, U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, and GEO Specialty Chemicals Plant Manager Brad Osborne.
To mark the conclusion of the construction project, the district will host a number of state and local officials for a celebratory ceremony to highlight the extraordinary value the pipeline delivers by enabling the school to operate its boilers with natural gas in lieu of fuel oil.
Parkland High School was initially built as a facility that could heat the building with dual fuel capabilities with the foresight that a natural gas pipeline could come into fruition. But the cost to install a pipe from Route 309 to PHS was previously cost-prohibitive. Therefore, PHS has been using fuel oil -- currently much higher than the cost of natural gas -- as its main source of heat.
When the pipeline was installed at GEO Specialty Chemicals, a neighboring business, the district was able to install and connect its pipeline at a much lower cost. The district also received help from Jeras Corp., which allowed a portion of the pipeline to cross over its land.
The high school, the district’s largest building housing 3,200 students daily and 345 employees, burns approximately 180,000 gallons of fuel oil each year.
“It is estimated that the natural gas expenses will decrease utility bills by approximately $400,000 in the first year alone," Sniscak said. "We are delighted to announce this facility improvement which will benefit our taxpayers for many years to come.”