Retrofits and upgrades are under way for Connellsville Area School District buildings in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. New York City-based facility management provider ABM projects that its customized Energy Performance Contracting Program for the school district will save more than $26.4 million in energy and operating costs over a 15-year period, the company announced.
Connellsville Area School District, about an hour’s drive south from Pittsburgh, covers 250 square miles in a rural area. The school district has around 550 employees and 4,300 students total. ABM says it will work to improve HVAC systems and maintenance, lighting, water conservation, and energy management systems in each of the school district’s buildings.
Project highlights include:
- Replacing fluorescent lighting fixtures with new, energy-efficient LED lighting district-wide
- Upgrading building envelopes district-wide
- Installing upgraded or rejuvenating old HVAC systems function at high-efficiency rates, and state-of-the-art, non-proprietary controls
- Replacing boilers with high-efficiency units at Bullskin Elementary and Springfield Township Elementary schools, and Connellsville Area Middle School
- Installing 37 new rooftop air conditioning units for four elementary schools
- Installing new roofing overlays at Bullskin Elementary and West Crawford Elementary schools
- Upgrading walk-in coolers and freezers, and kitchen hood controls in six of the district’s kitchen areas
- Upgrading water conservation measures district-wide
- Installing tankless hot water heaters at three schools
ABM says that its Energy Performance Contracting program is a financial solution for making improvements to K-12 schools without increasing taxes. “Money that would have to be spent on future costs is used to pay for upgrades that enable savings,” the company explains online. “Immediate positive cash flow comes from savings beyond those needed for the program to create general fund relief. The cost savings will cover the payments for the contract period — or we step in to pay the difference, not the school.”
Connellsville Area School District officials say they plan to use the money saved for educational and technological initiatives. “Along with upgrading the school district’s infrastructure, the solution is expected to produce enough general fund savings to purchase each student a Chromebook laptop computer, upgrade televisions, install SMART Boards in classrooms, and upgrade the wireless internet network throughout each of the district’s buildings,” ABM says in a description of the program.
Philip Martell, superintendent of Connellsville Area School District, said in a press release, “ABM’s creative solution will help us address our daily operational needs, while redirecting funding toward educational programming.”
The project, which started on July 1, is scheduled to be completed next October, according to ABM.
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