Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 2, 2014

Phillips eyes $11M wellness center

Academy aims to break ground on campus this fall


In addition, a series of 500-foot deep, 1-foot wide wells will be placed around the perimeter of the building, drawing cooling temperatures to the interior of the structure in the summer and warmer temperatures in the winter.

The geothermal system is predicted to cut energy costs by 20 to 25 percent, he said.

“This will be our third green roof on campus,” he said. “But this is our first foray into geothermal.”

The Planning Board is scheduled to continue its site plan review process for the project during a public hearing on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

The medical center is part of an ongoing, multi-million-dollar renovation effort on campus, Muench said.

Over the past year, the school has completed about $50 million in improvements, mostly in dormitory renovations, but also to the athletic center, where the locker rooms have been updated. The school has installed sprinklers in the dorms and has upgraded an antiquated underground steam system that services buildings all over campus.

In a related matter, Phillips is seeking to restructure another $50 million or so in debt, Muench said.

According to a letter from MassDevelopment, a state financing agency, the board of trustees of Phillips Academy has applied for $103 million in taxable and tax-exempt bonds to finance work on campus. The letter was sent to the Board of Selectmen in early November as a courtesy in case the work conflicts with any local or regional comprehensive planning.

The document states that the projects encompass both completed and upcoming work as part of the school’s ongoing maintenance, Muench said. The list includes replacement of a track, athletic field improvements, installation of campus-wide software and electronic security systems, and improvements and renovations to various classroom and administrative buildings.

The financing, which includes $56.2 million in tax-exempt bonds and another $33.8 million in taxable bonds, will help pay for future projects such as pedestrian safety upgrades, repaving of a campus roadway and infrastructure renovations.

Going through MassDevelopment insures nonprofit educational institutions like Phillips the lowest possible interest rates for eligible projects.

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