Energy upgrades in Waynesboro schools to cost $7.4 million

March 13, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The third and final phase for energy-saving building improvements in the Waynesboro Area School District will cost about $7.4 million.

The school board, which approved the work Tuesday, hopes to finance the project and make annual payments using the money it will save in utility costs. It is doing the same thing with the first two phases of work overseen by the McClure Co., a subsidiary of PPL Energy of Harrisburg, Pa.

Because of the first phase of upgrades to mechanical systems, the district is spending $160,000 less a year in utilities, according to Shayne Homan, of McClure Co.

The combined annual savings for all three phases is expected to be $460,000, Homan said. Over 20 years, McClure expects the district will save $16.1 million by avoiding capital purchases and saving on utilities, he said.

“You can’t factor in labor, the amount you’d save on that. ... I personally feel it’s a very good deal for the district,” said Ed Wilson, school board president.

Altogether, the district will spend about $14.3 million, including financing costs.

The third phase will mostly address smaller items, although it does include new roofs at Waynesboro Area Middle School and Fairview Elementary School and new HVAC systems at Hooverville and Mowrey elementary schools.

The roofs at Waynesboro Area Middle School and Fairview Elementary School are original to the buildings. The new ones will have 20-year warranties.

Fairview Elementary School has problems with its hot water distribution system, Homan said.

Meanwhile, crews “found” 18,000 gallons of oil in tanks at Mowrey and Hooverville elementary schools, Homan said. The oil, which was purchased six to eight years ago, had formed a gel, requiring cleaning and repairs to the system, he said.

Those two schools will use that cleaned oil until late in the year for heating, Homan said.

Waynesboro Area Senior High School needs minor improvements to its newer section. Those include ways to control humidity in the choral room and maintain heat in the locker rooms, which consistently stay below 65 degrees in the winter.

“The (choral) room suffers from high humidity,” Homan said. “It does have a humidistat in the room, but it’s not connected to anything.”

The school board discussed bond financing and refinancing with its financial adviser. It plans to finance the third phase on a schedule that allows for summertime construction.

“Construction actually will commence probably the day after students are gone,” Homan said.

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