SARTELL -- What does it take to run a building that's over a quarter-million square feet? Well, this month we're showing you the mechanical guts that will keep Sartell's new high school up and running.

From 22,000-pound cooling units for the summer to boilers not much larger than your home's water heater, the new school is filled with the latest in energy saving technology.

Sartell is using a combination of an ancient resource -- water -- and new tech to help heat and cool classrooms.

John Waletzko is the Superintendent of the project for Bradbury Stamm Construction for Sartell's new high school. He says each classroom uses a small box with fins that are heated and cooled as water is passed through.

"The smaller pipes run to these individual units with either hot or cold water. Then the coil's fins will contain either hot or cold water [depending on the temperature we want], and air is pushed through it [to heat and cool the rooms]."

Most of the mechanics that make the school work are all enclosed, instead of the old way of leaving them outside. Sartell-St. Stephen's Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert says that saves them a lot of headaches.

"Back in the 70's when we built things that's where they all sat. And that was a maintenance nightmare because you'd get rust, they'd be exposed to the cold, the heat, they'd break down a lot faster."

The school uses a computer system to help determine air flow and temperature to keep students and staff comfortable, but save money as well.

The school is still on track to be opened in the fall of 2019. Once that happens, the current high school will become a middle school, and the middle school will be shifted to an intermediate school.

The new high school will be 290,000 square feet.

Check back in two weeks when we'll tour the new Tech High School being built by District 742 on the south side of St. Cloud.

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