Schools start energy savings project

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Barely 12 hours after county commissioners decided to borrow up to $3.1 million for energy savings in county schools, the school board met to start the project.

"We're here to finish discussion on the energy grant," chairman Mike Keny said during a Tuesday morning meeting. "The board has to decide the next step.

"Rocky (Bowden) did a great job," Keny said, referring to the chairman of the county commission's education committee.

Harvey Jones agreed: "Rocky knows what's going on."

Barbara Kennedy moved to accept money the county commission had agreed to borrow, and to "begin the process with Siemens," and the motion was approved unanimously.

"You're ready to go, aren't you?" Kennedy asked the Siemens representative, Kirk Whittington.

"Yes," he answered. "All Miss Freda (Terry) has to do is co-sign. We send in the application. There's lots of stuff to fill in. We're going to go as fast as we can, but we're not going to rush."

Kristen Gold asked if the board needed to meet again to agree the scope of work, but Kennedy said she was in favor of handing it over to the director of schools and his maintenance supervisor so they can get on with it.

Asked about a time frame, Whittington said, "Hopefully, in the next two weeks" they could get the terms and conditions to the board's attorney for approval.

Whittington said his goal is to have all the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning improvements completed before students return to school in August. All other aspects of the program are to be finished by October or November 2011.

Kennedy asked maintenance supervisor Sheldon Davis if it was time for him to hire some more help, since he would have to devote some of his time to working with Siemens, and Davis answered that he thought of taking on some temporary workers.

Before adjourning, the board members agreed to move February's school board meeting from Valentine's Day to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17, preceded by a meeting of the schools' budget committee at 5:30 p.m.