EarthWindandFire wrote:I was just at lunch reading my local newspaper and read that the town is requesting proposals for replacing the 50 year old boilers at our two Elementary schools. The thing that really caught my attention was the cost estimate released by the town.
The larger school, which is nearly 50,000 square feet: $ 1,800,000 dollars.
The smaller school, not sure of square footage: $ 1,300,000 dollars.
Again, I have not seen the scope of work or have any knowledge of the work needed, but THREE MILLION dollars seems excessive in this budget environment or any other in my opinion.
What ballpark figure can anyone here estimate if the existing oil-fired boilers were replaced with coal-fired boilers like an EFM for example?
Understand what the cost of construction is today. We aren't talking a do it yourself project. Houses cost $150 to $200 a square foot to have built. Schools are probably $250 to $300 per square foot. At $1,800,000 for 50,000 square feet, that's $36 per square foot for renovations. What does it include? Most newspapers don't get it right and abbreviate everything. No doubt there is more to the renovation than just boilers. General construction, electrical, controls, piping, insulation, plumbing, etc. would have to be included. How about Asbestos abatement? That can run hundreds of thousands of dollars for a building.
Coal boilers are an expense in labor for schools. We carry our ash and coal without charging ourselves. With a school, they must pay someone to do that. Being solid fuel, they may need to have an operating engineer on staff when ever these are in operation (24/7 in the heating season). Also, any boiler in a commercial building would need to be built to ASME standards and stamped. These items reduce cost savings of coal in the commercial setting.
Typically an older school around here would be at 60 btuh/ft2. for 50,000 square feet that would equal 3,000,000 btuh output heating system. Also, in commercial buildings, an extra boiler is always installed in case one goes down. If it took 3 ahs s1000 boilers to meet the heating load, 4 should be installed because of Murphy's law and good design practices.