Rolla Junior High will be getting a new biomass boiler in 2011 after the Board of Education approved a $760,000 agreement Thursday.


Rolla Junior High will be getting a new biomass boiler in 2011 after the Board of Education approved a $760,000 agreement Thursday.

On the recommendation of Deputy Superintendent Dr. Aaron Zalis, board members unanimously approved the contract with the Missouri Department of Conservation in the Fuels for Schools program, a federal initiative created under the Stimulus act.

“I think it makes an abundance of sense,” Zalis told the board before the vote.

At the previous meeting, John Tuttle, a forestry field programs supervisor with the MDC, informed officials Rolla was approved to receive the grant.

As dictated in the contract, construction will begin in April, and slated to finish in June 2011. A reservation expressed by Zalis at the previous meeting, that the grant wouldn’t be sufficient to cover the entire plan, was brought up during Thursday’s meeting.

“I was concerned we would have to spend money out of the capital projects fund,” Zalis said.

The  $830,000 plan presented to officials was what Zalis called a “Cadillac Plan,” and not necessarily needed. Rolla’s plan also calls for purchasing a natural gas boiler as a backup to the woodchip-fueled biomass one.