By Rachel Leber
DARIEN, Ga. — Georgia’s McIntosh County Board of Education (GMCBE) in Darien began collaboration with ABM — a facility solutions company headquartered in New York — on an energy-efficiency upgrade project for its schools in December 2016. ABM has since initiated a comprehensive energy performance contracting program for the school district, the improvements of which are projected to save more than $20.9 million in energy and operating costs for the district over a 20-year period. The improvements on district schools are projected for completion by the end of the year.
The energy and operations savings will be achieved by implementing energy-efficient infrastructure upgrades to the Todd Grant Elementary School, McIntosh County Academy, McIntosh County Middle School, and the McIntosh County Board of Education and Maintenance Offices — all located in Darien. ABM has been monitoring energy use, inspecting facility equipment of the schools and and talking to key school staff to identify the school system’s major infrastructure challenges, seeking opportunities to cut costs through energy-efficiency improvements. Projected savings for the first year alone are expected to be more than $263,000.
Some planned improvements already in the works include upgrading all HVAC units at McIntosh County Academy as well as units at other facilities to high-efficiency, state-of-the-art HVAC units. All district HVAC units will be controlled by advanced, web-based direct digital control (DDC) systems to maximize energy and operational efficiency. LED lighting will also be installed at all of the facilities, while irrigation wells will be installed at all three schools in order to provide a more cost-efficient means of irrigating the campus and athletic fields.
Amongst other improvements, the Todd Grant Elementary School campus will receive two complete, age-appropriate playgrounds and a covered outdoor classroom area as well as the renovation and expansion of three buildings on campus to serve as the administrative complex for the school district. All restrooms at the McIntosh County Middle School will be renovated, and aging roofs of two buildings will be replaced. The McIntosh County Academy will have its building envelope sealed from outside air as well as gain new refrigerator management, in addition to other improvements.
This article was originally published on School Construction News.