PE Funds In Focus For School Projects

Published 1:30 pm Tuesday, May 12, 2015

PRINCE EDWARD — County supervisors have waded into possible funding for a long list of school capital projects, but they haven’t quite taken the plunge.

The board, in an April 30 meeting, authorized Honeywell Building Solutions to issue a request for proposals on the County’s behalf to obtain lease financing for a 15-year term for $5,090,482 to address renovations detailed in a technical energy audit.

“Once the responses to the RFP are received, Honeywell and the County’s financial advisor will review them and make a recommendation to the County,” County Administrator Wade Bartlett stated. “Then the board of supervisors will make a final determination in regards to this project.”

Email newsletter signup

Potentially, they could work on both the middle school and career tech center roofs over the summer, according to Division Superintendent Dr. David Smith. And that could be a welcome relief for those struggling with a leaky roof at the middle school and career tech center.

“The timeframe is short now, but we will know after the May 12 board of supervisors meeting and the action they take on the financing for the project exactly how that will proceed. And the plan will be for construction to start as soon as the teacher work days are over, so it would be that second week of June,” Dr. Smith said. “I know Honeywell has put a lot of time and effort into the planning and setting this up.”

In addition to that, he speculated, “a good bit of the significant part of the energy upgrades including boiler replacements, chiller replacement and HVAC controls, most of that is going to go on during the summer as well.”

All of the work is pressing, the superintendent said, and has a level of urgency.

Among the larger ticket items on the list are the roof replacements at the middle school, at $1,770,401 and at the career technical center. But the scope of the project also includes enclosing the walkway to the fifth grade wing, control system upgrades, water upgrades, building envelope (connections between the interior and exterior of the school), and lighting upgrades at all of the schools.

County school board members had previously approved the performance contracting project proposed by Honeywell totaling $5,090,482, which includes a $100,000 contingency reserve. If the interest rates come in lower, the school board has asked to add $174,765 for stadium lighting upgrades, bringing the total cost to $5,265,247.

Monies to fund the work would come from energy savings (estimated at $212,166 in the first year and escalating three percent each year and totaling $311,573 in the fifteenth year) and utilizing $250,000 generated with retiring debt each year from the third to the fifteenth year.