Niskayuna High School Transformer Replacement Update

Update, Feb. 28 – The new transformer was installed during the weekend of Feb. 22-23 and the high school moved from generator to utility power at that time. At this point, the district is waiting to see how much of the cost of this situation will be covered by insurance, with the expectation that state building aid will help offset any amount that is not.

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The transformer at Niskayuna High School that failed and caused a school-wide power outage on Jan. 29 will be replaced in the coming days – and potentially by the time students return from Winter Recess. The high school has been on generator power since the outage.

The transformer was unique to the high school, which meant it took some time to find a replacement. The new one is being retrofitted in Ohio. It is expected to arrive at the high school during the week of Feb. 18 and be installed soon after.

The transformer handles all incoming power to the high school campus and regulates and distributes it throughout the building.

The sudden outage on Jan. 29 complicated aspects of the school’s electrical, heating and plumbing systems, which the district’s Operations and Maintenance Department has been working to address.

At the Feb. 11 Board of Education meeting, two resolutions were approved authorizing the emergency expenditure of up to $1.3 million total to replace the transformer, mitigate damage and repair the affected systems.

Insurance and state aid will offset the final cost to the district.

“I want to thank our Operations & Maintenance Department for its work throughout this entire situation and our high school staff and students for their patience during this time,” Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr, said. “In light of this significant event, the fact that we were able to maintain regular operations to the degree we have is a credit to our O&M Department.”