Financing for Stevens Upgrade Almost Done

Claremont — Johnson Controls, the company that will install new energy-saving equipment, including two wood pellet/propane boilers, in the district’s school could begin work early next month, the Stevens Renovation Committee was told Wednesday by its chairman, David Putnam.

Putnam said he received word Wednesday from the financing institution, Oppenheimer & Co., advising him that the closing on the $4.1 million loan can take place on Oct. 29.

Putnam told the committee that negotiations “have accomplished what we are expecting” and they can now proceed to prepare documents.

Under the proposal from Johnson, the savings in energy costs each year will be enough to meet the annual loan payments.

Since voters approved the Johnson Controls proposal at Town Meeting last March, the district has had a difficult time finding a lender that will give a 20-year loan. Further complicating the process was an unexpected jump in interest rates over the summer.

The higher rates forced the committee to scale back the initial project of $4.9 million by this summer by eliminating new windows at the Claremont Middle School and lighting upgrades at all district schools.

Also Wednesday, the committee was told by Ingrid Nichols of Banwell Architects that bids for the subcontracting work are due Friday and will be reviewed and presented to the committee next week.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at ogrady56@yahoo.com.

CORRECTION

The SAU 6 School Board is considering a proposal from Oppenheimer & Co. to finance a $3.6 million energy-savings project at Stevens High School. The company has been misidentified in recent stories this fall.