TOWER CITY — Williams Valley School District will undergo $7.36 million in renovations over a two-year, two-phase plan unveiled to the school board May 14. Superintendent Donald Burkhardt said it can all be done without a tax increase.
Shayne A. Homan, director of Energy Services, and Bill Smith, project engineer with McClure Co., Harrisburg, outlined the plan.
Homan said the district contacted his firm about a year ago, asking McClure to assess the energy needs; heating, ventilation and air conditioning; air sealing and window and roof structures of its elementary and high school campuses.
Under the State Act 39, the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act, the district would be able to negotiate contracts for the scope of work, based on energy savings and having a contractor guarantee performance at the “tail end” of the project. It’s estimated the district may be able to save as much as $2 million over a 20 year period with the efficiency upgrades, Homan said.
The district now spends about $300,000 a year on utilities. The high school uses a combination of propane and electric. The high school’s HVAC system is more than 40 years old. The ventilation system is not alarming but needs to be brought up to code. The high school’s roof is 25 years old and needs to be replaced.
The elementary building uses oil and electric, Homan said. Its HVAC system is 22 years old. Improvements would include converting the elementary boilers to propane, control upgrades, sealing up the building and replacing the 20-year-old roof. The elementary currently has a predictable leak, which has been causing repeated damage to the gym floor.
He said the projects will include improving interior and exterior lighting throughout; transformer upgrades; small motor controls; roof replacements at both buildings; HVAC upgrades for the gym, auditorium and offices at the high school; and fixing humidity issues in the elementary cafeteria.
Phase one of the project would cost $3.8 million and would begin this summer, with the bulk of the work being completed in the summer months, while the students are not in class, according to Homan.
Phase two would cost $3.56 million and would include addressing the high school HVAC issues. Phase two would begin next summer in 2016.
The high school and elementary building now have limited areas where air conditioning is available. After phase one, the elementary cafeteria will also have air conditioning. After phase two is completed, all of the high school rooms, including classrooms, would have air conditioning capability.
Burkhardt said he was excited about the renovations the district will undertake. He called the roofs “in dire need of replacement.” Burkhardt said the district is waiting for the state to release money for low-cost loans; or the district would pay for the project “out of pocket” with available funds and no tax increases will be needed.
Board President Daniel Stroup thanked Director Tedd Johns for spearheading the renovation project with McClure Co.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the preliminary 2015-16 General Fund Budget with expenditures of $15,185,440 and revenues of $14,524,633. All taxes would remain stable under the proposed spending plan. The budget will be on display for 30 days for the public’s review.
•Heard from head archery coach Adam Kravatz, who presented an end-of-season report. Kravatz said the varsity team placed fourth in the state and recorded its best team score ever. The junior varsity team placed ninth. The archery team participated in a Wounded Warrior fundraiser and has been interested in developing a local archery league.