At the February 20th, Board of Education Meeting, a variety of projects designed to improve the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of the District's school buildings were approved. In addition, a major renovation of Tiger Stadium was authorized, opening use of the stadium to new interscholastic, extracurricular, curricular, and community groups.
The centerpiece project is an upgrade of G.C. Hartman Elementary School's HVAC system which will protect classrooms from becoming too hot or too cold. It will also allow for more fresh air to be drawn into and circulated throughout the building. Much of the equipment is original to the building's 1976 opening and has become inefficient and prone to mechanical breakdowns. This project calls for the Installation of six (6) new chilled water/hot water rooftop units, eighty-six (86) new hot water variable air volume units, and one (1) new air cooled chiller. This equipment is similar to the new Middle School units, allowing the District to standardize equipment for easier maintenance. The project will also bring a new building automation system replacing an out -of-date pneumatic (air-based) system. This new Direct Digital Control (DDC) system is similar to the building automation system upgrade completed in 2014 at the High School/Middle School and will ensure a standardized control system for all District buildings.
A High School auditorium and stage lighting upgrade will also take place. The first component is the “house” lighting which illuminates the seating area of the auditorium. These lights are elevated above the floor at a distance that is difficult for the maintenance staff to reach. As lights burn out, they are not replaced immediately due to the need to rent a lift. Thirty-four (34) new LED lights will be installed increasing the life of the bulb and lessening the need for light replacement. In addition to converting the existing house lighting to LED, the existing analog control system for both the stage and house lighting will be updated to a digital system. The stage lighting will also be upgraded to LED technology. These changes will allow the control of lighting for theatrical productions to take place with the touch of a button and help the District achieve energy savings.
G.C. Hartman Elementary School and the High School will receive a window upgrade. Approximately 43 windows in the Elementary School and 67 in the HIgh School will be installed replacing single pane and/or aging windows. The new windows will be comprised of new aluminum framing along with new Low-E tinted glass.
The heating and cooling units of the Family and Consumer Science and Tech Ed classrooms are nearing the end of their useful life and will be replaced. Included in this scope of work will be the installation of an exhaust fan in the District's MDF or server room to supplement the existing 2 Ton ductless split system cooling this equipment. This project will also replace a broken exhaust fan serving the Choir classroom area (the two offices and four storage/practice rooms adjacent to the classroom). New supply and return duct work, new diifusers, and a thermostat are among the infrastructure updates that will improve temperature control and air quality in that part of the high school building.
The District Office and additional sections of the Elementary School will undergo perimter security enhancements. The glass wall of G.C. Hartman's cafeteria/gymnasium will be replaced with new doors on each end of the existing glass wall, with a cement block storage area bult in between. The new storage area will allow the cafeteria tables to be moved off the gym floor when not being used, making that space safer for students engaged in physical education activities or sports practice. Ultimately, these changes will lead to the glass wall being replaced with new key-fobbed doors and a masonry wall. The District Office's doors and windows will be upgraded allowing for the same security enhancements brought about by the project wrapping up at G.C. Hartman Elementary.
The electrical panel at Tiger Stadium is aging and will be upgraded. Also, the existing stadium lights which illuminate the playing field will be replaced with 32 new LED fixtures.
The grass surface at Tiger Stadium will be replaced with an artifical surface to be installed by FieldTurf. The District presently maintains three varsity grass fields (football, soccer, and field hockey). Converting Tiger Stadium to an artifical surface will allow the District to consolidate to one varsity field greatly reducing maintenance costs associated with field upkeep and freeing up the District's three-man maintenance department to tend to other facilities' tasks. Soccer and field hockey games will now be played at Tiger Stadium, giving those players and fans, as well as those for football, improved facilities and a safer playing surface. Other beneficiaries of this upgrade will be physical education classes, marching band, cheerleaders, baseball, softball, and community youth groups.
Permanent restroom facilities will be constructed at field level on the home side of Tiger Stadium. The District spends approximately $21,000 every year to rent port-a-potties for the stadium and the "Death Valley" fields. Moving soccer and field hockey to Tiger Stadium, and building the restrooms, will shave at least $18,000 off this bill since the number of job johnnies in "Death Valley" will be reduced and the need for them at Tiger Stadium eliminated.
The final project on the list calls for an upgrade to the District's sewerage plant. A recent inspection of the metal basin which holds the wastewater at the plant has determined it has a useful life of about two years. In response, the Board authorized the Larson Design group to file for permits and to prepare a design for the basin's replacement. This is a lenghy process with all necessary governmental approvals not expected until late 2017 or early 2018. Because the sewerage plant cannot be shut down while school is in session, this work will not take place until the summer of 2018.
The HVAC upgrades in the Elementary and High School, the window replacement project, the auditorium and stage light upgrades, and the electric panel and LED fixture upgrade at Tiger Stadium will be part of a guaranteed energy savings project, the second undertaken by the District and the McClure Company. In 2014, the McClure Company provided the District with a successful guaranteed energy savings project, which focused on District-wide lighting upgrades, building envelope upgrades, High School and Middle School HVAC upgrades, and an Elementary School HVAC heating plant upgrade. The project was a success, saving the District 88,498 kWh of electricity and 95,685 gallons of oil per year. This equated to roughly 6,220 MMBtus of energy savings measured versus 3,070 MMBtus of energy savings guaranteed, resulting in an additional 49% annual savings. In addition, the District received new lighting, building insulation, a more economic heating fuel (propane), and a new air-conditioning and heating system at the HS and MS. All these upgrades increased classroom comfort for students and staff while reducing oil and electricity consumption.