District makes strides in energy upgrades

Climatec LLC has made vital progress on Ramona Unified College District’s (RUSD) power upgrades this summer time, however work is predicted to proceed not less than 9 extra months within the evenings and weekends after the 2019-20 college 12 months begins Aug. 19.

RUSD trustees unanimously accredited the power conservation challenge Might 14. The in depth challenge encompassing photo voltaic, lighting, home windows, and heating, air flow and air-con (HVAC) installations is predicted to value the varsity district $12.three million however generate $34 million in financial savings over the subsequent 30 years.

Climatec, a Phoenix-based constructing applied sciences firm consisting of power, life security and constructing automation divisions, started overhauling RUSD’s power methods after a contract was signed and a kickoff assembly was held Might 21.

Climatec Senior Account Government Amber Fritsch mentioned your complete challenge is estimated to take 12 to 18 months.

“We don’t foresee it taking that lengthy however that’s what we’re estimating proper now,” she mentioned.

Fritsch mentioned about 60 p.c of the lighting upgrades have been accomplished. The method entails changing fluorescent lights with energy-efficient LED lights at 10 websites throughout the district.

“With the lighting being put in the district is already seeing financial savings,” she mentioned. “While you change the sunshine bulb you’ll instantly begin saving cash. As soon as the challenge is totally on-line they’ll see drastic financial savings.”

Climatec has reported RUSD might scale back its utility payments from $1.2 million to $400,000 yearly with the entire overhaul.

Fritsch estimates 15 to 20 p.c of the HVAC installations at 5 RUSD websites have been accomplished. Colleges which have acquired new HVAC models to date are James Dukes Elementary and Ramona Excessive faculties. She mentioned the brand new methods will run extra effectively and hold the school rooms and places of work cooler.

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HVAC models are lined up within the Ramona Excessive College parking zone, able to be put in earlier than Monday, the primary day of the 2019-20 college 12 months for college students.

(Quannah Arnold)

Climatec is now gearing up for the set up of photo voltaic and home windows. Fritsch mentioned the method takes longer for these methods due to approvals required by California’s Division of the State Architect (DSA). California public Okay-12 faculties are amongst varied state-owned and leased services that should submit plans to the DSA to make sure they adjust to code necessities and DSA requirements.

Ramona Elementary College is the one website in RUSD set to obtain new dual-pane, energy-efficient home windows.

Climatec Director for Public Sector Ashley Cascio mentioned many RUSD faculties may benefit from window replacements however the district needed to prioritize these within the worst situation based mostly on finances components. She mentioned Ramona Elementary’s home windows had rotting wooden and, in some circumstances, gaping holes between the window and body the place air might escape.

“It’s a matter of finances and funding,” Cascio mentioned. “Home windows are a pricey endeavor and it doesn’t supply vital financial savings like lighting and photo voltaic.”

Photo voltaic shall be put in at a number of websites, nonetheless, together with Barnett, Hanson, James Dukes, Mt. Woodson and Ramona elementary faculties, Ramona Group College, Olive Peirce Center College and Ramona Excessive College.

Ramona Excessive’s parking zone may also be repaved with new asphalt at the side of the photo voltaic set up at an unspecified date.

“A lot of the work shall be accomplished at evening and throughout the weekends so it doesn’t disrupt the classroom atmosphere in any respect,” Fritsch mentioned.

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