Submitted by Walt Hackford

Mineral County School District Superintendent

There are some within our community that is wondering how long the noise from the drilling is going to continue along A Street and whether our new ground source heating system will be installed before Oct. 31 when the weather turns cold. I would like to address both issues and set our community at ease on these matters.

It is true that our drilling is running behind schedule at this point. Since we have decommissioned our boilers at the high school and at the district office, it is very important that we have ground source heat in both buildings by Oct. 31. Mineral County High School’s construction is nearly completed and will have access to heat by mid-October. Our project manager, Ric Rowlatt (Sierra Eco Systems) has promised us that all ground source heat will be in place and functional at the high school and district office by the end of October. If for some reason they are not ready by Oct. 31, Sierra Eco Systems will have portable electrical heading units in each room until the project has been completed. Our students will not be expected to attend school in the cold.

Our two elementary schools, Hawthorne Elementary and Schurz Elementary, do not have boiler systems and are still equipped with fully functional propane heating units that have not been removed. Our elementary students will be heated with our current heating system until the ground source systems are installed. We now anticipate Hawthorne Elementary School to be completed in November and Schurz Elementary School in December.

Sierra Eco Systems have assured us that all of our buildings will be completed before the end of the calendar year and that none of our students will go without heat as the weather turns cold. They will be bringing in additional drilling rigs to ensure that progress on construction will improve. We ask that our community remain patient with the noise in the evenings. We have been assured that all will be completed in Hawthorne by November. Once the drillers move to Schurz in December, then noise will not be an issue for either community at that point. Once completed, Mineral County School District will be fully equipped with the finest green energy heating and cooling system available. Our students and staff will enjoy cost-free energy for generations to come.

Again, I wish to thank our citizens of Mineral County for passing the bond in November that has allowed us to move toward green energy in our schools. It is greatly appreciated.