New Haven Town Hall closed for renovations

NEW HAVEN — The gymnasium in the New Haven Town Hall will be closed for energy efficiency renovations from July 5 until the start of the school year.
The Mary Johnson summer children’s program that runs throughout the summer will not be interrupted, town officials said, but indoor basketball players will be forced to venture outdoors.
With funds from the Vermont Energy Investment Corp.’s Efficiency Vermont program, town energy coordinator Rick Shappy jumped at the opportunity to replace the gym’s ceiling and install new light fixtures in both the gym and cafeteria. Shappy said that since what he described as D12 fluorescent lights — a type of tube — will no longer be sold after next year, it was a perfect time to upgrade.
“Our lighting bill will be cut by at least half,” he said.
Another major energy problem for the town hall is heating a large gym space that won’t hold heat efficiently.
“Hot air just blows right through that (current ceiling), so (by replacing it) we should reduce our heating bill fairly dramatically,” said Shappy.
The existing suspended ceiling with fiberglass insulation will be removed and replaced by a new sheetrock ceiling with blown-in insulation above it, which will act as an air seal to trap heat.
The project, which was approved by residents in the form of energy efficiency funds at Town Meeting Day, will cost the town a total of about $40,000 and will not raise tax rates, said Shappy.
“The money is being taken out of the reserved facilities fund. That’s money that’s already there and we should be able to save money starting on day one with the lights and all through next heating season,” said Shappy.
“It’s the best green dollar spent and it’s better to conserve your energy first before going out and getting extra.” 
Reporter Andrew Stein is at [email protected]

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