50-Year-Old Strand Boiler Replaced with Cost Saving Energy-efficient Units

Posted on July 20, 2020 By

About 50 years ago, a giant boiler was installed in the historic Strand Theater, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood. By today’s standards, this boiler has become inefficient and costly.

The original boiler was so huge, it had to be assembled inside the building! After several weeks of cutting it out, two highly efficient gas boilers have been installed in the Strand Theater. According to Tom Calabro, chairman of Strand Theater subcommittee for the Lakewood Industrial Commission (LIC), the new boilers will drastically reduce the cost of heating the Strand Theater and help relieve the cost of Strand Ventures in heating the theater.

Calabro said, “Besides efficiency in heating the theater, climate control is also a key component in preserving the original plaster and all the original architecture in the theater. If we don’t control the climate in the theater, it will deteriorate at the much faster rate.”

Greg Stafford-Smith, a member of the LIC and the Strand subcommittee, said the three million BTU unit was replaced by two more efficient and smaller units manufactured by Lochinbar that will maximize the efficiency of the Strand, and produce domestic hot water and heat for the entire theater. “These environmentally friendly units will lend themselves to the most efficient standards achievable.”

Lakewood municipal engineers Remington & Vernick ensured the project was in line with local standards and what the township expects. Stafford-Smith said, “The plumbing is a work of art – it is really impressive!”

It is estimated that there will be a savings of 30 to 40 percent on the consumption of gas. The two parts of the installation included the replacement of the roof heating units in October and then the installation of the boilers began in May.

The LIC credits Ervin Oross, director of Lakewood Township Community Development, for being instrumental in helping to get the funding for the new boilers. According to Oross, energy funding was available through a State grant for such energy efficient units and matching funds were available from energy efficient programs.

Oross said, “Because the new boilers are more efficient, it will save a lot of money in heating costs and provide a more comfortable experience in very cold weather. Heat will now reach areas in the theater that were not covered before.

“It’s good to know that the state has programs that encourage energy efficiency. Since the theater is always looking to save money, the new boilers will have a big impact that will serve the theater for a long, long time.”

Steven Reinman, executive director of the LIC who provided the incentive to replace the boilers, said, “From my perspective, we have this historic building the town now owns. This building adds so much to the local culture, and we want this building to be energy and cost efficient for years to come.

“The beauty of it is between N.J. Natural Gas and state programs along with CDBG funding, we were able to completely overhaul a 50-year-old system and bring us into not only modern times but something that will last a very long time with high efficiency and very good performance. We’re very gratified about that. It was very nice to see that the cooperation among the various agencies delivered excellent value to the township and to its residents.”