Greater Johnstown School Board seeks energy savings

Joshua Byers, The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
·2 min read

Mar. 3—The Greater Johnstown School Board amended the agenda at Tuesday's meeting to include a motion to solicit requests for qualifications for a guaranteed energy savings contract and approved the action.

That stemmed from a presentation Jim Creedon, vice president of business development for The Efficiency Network (TEN), gave at the beginning of the gathering about the various available upgrades the company noted while touring Greater Johnstown buildings.

These ranged from replacing outdated equipment, such as unit ventilators at the elementary and doors at the middle school, or installing new systems, such as adding air conditioning to the high school.

"Sometimes you just have to get in and put something new in there so you have some relief from maintenance contracts and repair bills and service calls and outages and rattling unit vents and noise in the classroom and all the things that disrupt the educational environment," Creedon said.

TEN representatives inspected three areas of the buildings and recommended several changes.

Those were designed to improve energy savings, create a healthier environment within the schools and improve the basic infrastructure of the buildings.

Joe Parris, a project developer for TEN, also spoke to the board.

He laid out the various options the members could consider and explained that there would be a "menu" of projects provided.

Greater Johnstown plans to pay for these upgrades using Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund II monies it received recently.

The district has about $12.8 million available to spend through 2023, Superintendent Amy Arcurio said.

No definitive pricing was provided, but Creedon said if the board moved forward TEN representatives would return and begin to dig into the numbers and provide a maximum cost, which would eliminate any change orders.

A possible timetable for the projects would be to start the process this summer, so some work could be completed then, and to have other work done this winter.

The work of TEN is also guaranteed, so if the district doesn't experience a savings, then the company will pay Greater Johnstown.

Eugene Pentz, board president, was impressed by the offerings.

"The best thing I see is you're going to tell us we're going to have the menu, and you're saying at each building, 'This is what you have to get done first, second, third,' " he said. "I think that's great."

Pentz was also fond of the fact that none of the work had to be done at once and instead would be broken down into phases and that projects could be grouped together.