“The number you see is a fixed price," said Kramer, who was asked in May to review the potential for a 2016 installation at the junior high school and to present a final plan this month with modifications. "That should give the district a lot of confidence and financial stability understanding what the payment structure will look like.”
Kramer said the upgrades to the junior high will not only improve the learning environment by adding cooling and overall control of the system, but will also allow for a new middle school grade structure if deemed appropriate.
The project scope includes mechanical work, building modification for controls, electrical upgrades to the main distribution panel and the option for adding cooling to the building. Formal training on the new system would also be provided to school officials.
From a mechanical, electrical and control standpoint, Kramer said the major systems in the building would be set long-term for at least 30 years with performance issues, if any, handled by Schneider Electric.
Should the district choose to move forward with the project, Kramer said the company – at no additional cost to the district - also would be willing to look at the district’s other facilities, including the junior high school, for energy savings opportunities to help with the project's overall funding. He estimated the process would take two to three months.
“The intent here would be that anything that drives positive cash flow for the district…would be something that we would bring to the table.”
“Not all of this project is coming from new money,” he said.
Previously, school officials had looked at starting work this summer. Because the board is now looking at a 2016 installation, Kramer said there is an option to start work ahead of next summer and finish before the start of the 2016-17 school year.
“This will allow us to get work done in a smoother, more efficient, effective manner,” Kramer said.
The 2016-17 fiscal year would be the start for repayment.
Business Manager Minnie Baker estimated it would take about 20 years at approximately $250,000 per year to repay the debt depending on the finance structure.
“That’s a bill of tax every year,” Baker cautioned the board.
Board president MJ Knafelc said she doesn’t feel the school district should commit to the $6.6 million project, even with a 30-year guarantee.
“We’ve got 30 years worth of furnace, but how many years worth of the roof do we have? How many years worth of windows do we have?”
Others, however, said the board needs to commit to preserving the junior high.