Herricks to purchase generators for schools

Amanda Bernocco

The Herricks School District plans to purchase four backup generators to power sections of its school buildings during emergencies, a move that members of its Board of Education said Thursday would cut down on the time students are out of the classroom and provide a source of electricity for residents during outages.

Trustees approved a resolution authorizing a maximum of $51,200 to be spent on the gently-used generators, which will be installed at the district’s community center and three elementary schools by March 2015.

Generators are currently installed at Herricks Middle School and Herricks High School, but trustees said they do not operate for as long as the ones the district plans to purchase from Diesel Systems Repairs, Inc., of Copaigue.

“The old generators strained after lighting three light bulbs,” Trustee Brian Hassan said. “They keep the computer system alive and not much more. These [new machines] will be generators that will allow us to maintain a lot more.”

Herricks buildings were out of power for up to a week following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and trustees said the buildings were unable to be used as shelters for residents displaced by the storm.

Though officials said the new generators will not be strong enough to power an entire school building, Board of Education President James Gounaris said they would power “vital interest areas” of each building.

The new generators will be placed at the rear or side of each building, near its electrical and gas systems, trustees said.

The generators will be powered with natural gas, which Hassan said is the safest source of fuel in case of an accidental leak.

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Amanda Bernocco

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