Let there be savings

Published 10:49 am Friday, July 7, 2017

Work is under way on a project designed to save nearly $8 million in energy costs for six schools in the Clark County Public Schools district.

According to Administrative Director of Operations Donald Stump, the project is a guaranteed energy savings contract, meaning the cost of the project will be paid for through the savings over the next 20 years.

“Idealistically, the more comfortable the building is, the better the students will learn and the teachers will teach,” Stump said.

The district has contracted with Performance Services to complete the project. Stump said that if the district does not realize the savings, Performance Services will be required to make up the difference.

The project has three primary areas of focus: heating and cooling, electric and lighting and water.

Strode Station Elementary and Baker Intermediate are having the most work done. The buildings, which both feature central heating and air, are getting two new chillers and boilers to improve climate control in the schools.

All six of the schools, the four elementary buildings, Baker and portions Robert D. Campbell Jr. High, are being retrofitted to use LED lighting.

Additionally, the schools are having controls installed that allow principals and district officials to set schedules for energy usage.

Stump said the controls represent a large portion of the savings from the project, as they allow the district to minimize the amount of energy being used at night and at other times when the schools aren’t in session.

The entirety of the project will not be completed by the time school begins again August 16, so another phase of the project focussing on Shearer Elementary will be completed next summer after the end of the 2017-2018 school year.

Another, smaller part of the project includes the installation of three-way valves at Justice Elementary and RDC. Stump said the valves will allow the schools to more quickly transition between heating and air conditioning during months where both are needed.