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Mascoma High School Loses Heat Due to Issue With New System

West Canaan — It was a chilly Monday morning for Mascoma High School students, teachers and staff when the school’s new wood pellet and oil burners briefly malfunctioned.

Superintendent Patrick Andrew said students arrived to temperatures of about 52 degrees Fahrenheit, but around noon, the thermometer had risen to 64 degrees, slightly shy of the 68-degree target.

The temperature continued to rise after engineers had fixed a small mechanical malfunction by 10 a.m. and heat was spreading through the building, Andrew said.

Three new wood pellet boilers and one oil burner were installed at the high school over the summer, Andrew said. They are supposed to drop the building’s temperature down to the low 50s over the weekend and kick it back up to the high 60s during the school week.

Monday’s mechanical problem was compounded by the fact that the new boilers had not been programmed to send out an alert to building administrators, meaning the problem was only discovered when workers arrived for the day around 7 a.m., Andrew said.

Both the mechanical problem and programming oversight have been fixed, he said.