The hot water system at Westbrook High School, which for years has been inadequate, will be repaired this summer.

The Westbrook City Council recently gave the OK for the School Department to borrow $268,906 from the state to repair the system, only about half of which will have to be paid back.

The work will be scheduled along with ongoing work to address wiring and other code violations, and the school will be closed this summer in light of the work being done. High schools summer classes will be held at the middle school and other activities usually held at the high school will be moved elsewhere in the district, too, Superintendent Peter Lancia said.

The hot water system is now so weak that if the cafeteria is using it, nowhere else in the building can get hot water, Lancia said. The cafeteria has top priority for the hot water for sanitation purposes.

“We have had just enough to get by in terms of sanitization,” Lancia said in a phone interview Friday. “Kind of like if six people are using a shower at once in a building, who’s not getting the hot water? We often have to say, ‘It’s lunchtime, so we can’t use this because they need it in the cafeteria.'”

Hot water in bathrooms and locker rooms is often inadequate because it can’t make it from the tank to the far reaches of the school.


The system was last upgraded in 1990, according to the city. Lancia said he didn’t know how long it has been problematic, but in the last few years, fixing it became a priority.

Facilities Director Brandon Krupski could not be reached for comment before the American Journal’s deadline.

Siemens will replace the hot water tank and some locker room valves this summer.

“This will bring our building up to par,” Lancia said.

The City Council voted unanimously April 4 in support of the hot water system repairs.

“Being in the 21st century, of course we need (hot water) for our kids to go to school. We want our school to be an attractive feature in the city,” council President Anna Turcotte told the American Journal Monday.

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