District continues efficiency programs

Sunday Times Newspapers


WYANDOTTE — Wyandotte Public Schools has signed on for an additional phase in an energy-efficiency program.
The Board of Education approved entering into the fourth phase of a performance contract for $3.7 million with Johnson Controls. Performance contracts are self-funded building improvement projects with guaranteed savings and costs.


The $3.7 million in building improvement projects entail maintaining or upgrading different types of equipment throughout the district, including solar thermal, mechanical and building automation.


Projects are self-funded through the changes that are made to the building equipment, which results in a reduction in the amount of energy wasted and saves money.


The $6.16 million to be saved by the district through the project is guaranteed by Johnson Controls. If the target isn’t met, the company will write a check for the difference.


Some of the work included in the next phase are classroom renovations at Wilson Middle School, boiler replacements at Josephine Brighton Skills Center and the board offices, irrigation control and rain water capture at Roosevelt High School, a new rooftop unit at Taft Elementary School, new heating, ventilation and air conditioning modification at locations throughout the district and solar thermal units to heat the pools at Roosevelt and Wilson.


“The additional solar thermal technology at both the high school and middle school to heat the pools will take those off of the electrical load,” said Ronald Stimac, account manager of Wyandotte schools for Johnson Controls.


In 2008 Wilson’s roof was replaced and a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system was installed, which also creates additional energy.


“This is huge,” Trustee Michael Swiecki said. “(Johnson Controls) really makes it a no-brainer for us.


“We are going to agree to spend this money, and they are going to guarantee us every bit of this in savings.”


The district has saved $6.9 million in the first three phases of its performance contracts with Johnson Controls.


Windows and doors have been replaced at Roosevelt, upgrades and enhancements to the heating and cooling systems have been conducted at the schools, oil boilers, lighting fixtures and leaky doors and windows have been replaced with new, high-efficiency models.


The fourth phase of the project is scheduled to begin this summer.


“This is a really wonderful thing,” Swiecki said.