When I arrived here in Sturbridge I naturally wanted to learn the towns history. Knowing what happened here before I arrived gave me a deeper sense of place. It is also important for anyone to know a places past in order to understand where the place is today, and to have a respect for the place as well. I know it is cliche, but I will say it anyway, one cannot map out where they are going, unless they know where they have been.
More common sense than cliche, really.
So, here I am, a guy that lives in a town surrounded by history, and by others that have the same, and even a deeper passion than myself. I am a very lucky man. Of course, there is a difference between being a person that enjoys, appreciates, respects, and maintains our history, and our historic places, and, those that are fanatical.
Fanatical history lovers? Well, yes. Not much of an issue, but when they rise to a position and are called upon for advise when important historical advise is needed it can become an issue. If there is no one in the crowd with a lick of sense to temper some of that hardcore advise into something usable, then we may live to regret it.
I think we can all start regretting it now.
|The new windows that recently replaced the windows in|
the old photo of the town hall above are essentially
the same: single pane.
I was told last weekend that during the renovation of the Center School, and the Town Hall, that single pane windows were installed in both buildings because they are more historically accurate than energy efficient, multi-pane windows. This piece of advice was given by our local experts in history. I was also told that one can actually see the curtains move as the air circulates around the windows, and that the heating system is far from working effectively. It is either around 80℉, or much, much lower. Seldom a happy medium.
Single pane windows? In 2011? Really? I really do trust, and respect my source of this information, but could they really be right? Could our experts in history have actually insisted on single pane glass windows for their historical accuracy resulting in wasting huge amounts of energy? Not to mention adding to the uncomfortable working conditions in the building. If these experts wanted true accuracy then why did they stop at the windows, and not advise that the bathrooms be located outside in the parking lot along side the pump for the running water.
Because it doesn't make any sense, that's why.
The Master Plan for the Town of Sturbridge has an entire section on Energy and Sustainability, and these single pane windows run counter to not only the plan, but to common sense.
The Planning Board has listed "Current Events" on their page on the Town website, and one of the items listed is applying for designation as a Green Community.
"3. Establish an energy use baseline inventory that includes municipal buildings, vehicles, street and traffic lighting, and put in place a comprehensive program designed to reduce this baseline by 20 percent within 5 years of the baseline year."
Well, it doesn't take a genius to know that we've screwed up royally. Yes, I said "we". No matter if a committee, or commission made the decision, and others did not question it, it eventually falls on us, the residents. It is our responsibility.
Getting advice of experts is always a great idea, but so is having others review the advice, and think how it will actually affect the task at hand, and everything else it touches. Again, nothing hi-tech here, just common sense.
If those windows can be replaced with energy efficient windows, we may be back on track, but for now, I don't see that happening. Replacing newly purchased and installed windows requires a reason to do so, and that reason has to be owned by somebody or somebodies.
I don't see that happening any time soon.