The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

February 12, 2014

Danville school board approves $6M in energy upgrades

— DANVILLE — More than $6 million has been approved by the Danville school board for renovations to district buildings that will save $2.8 million in energy costs over the next 20 years.

The renovations, most of which will take place at the Danville High School, were approved at the board’s meeting Tuesday. The total project costs $6.228 million. Bonds will be used to finance the project, said school board president Allan Schappert.

The project comes with an energy savings guarantee, meaning that if the school does not see the promised

savings contractors will refund them the difference, according to district maintenance director Rick Engle.

The cost of the project will be further reduced by an approximately $67,000 rebate offered by PPL for switching to the more cost-effective upgrades, Engle said.

Engle told the board that if they waited a year they would stand to lose about $400,000 to $500,000 due to rebate expiration and missing out on lowered energy costs. He said the upgrades to the high school, which includes upgrades to lighting and HVAC systems, were sorely needed. “I think we’re at the end of the road” for some of the building’s utilities, he said.

Business manager Janis Venna agreed with Engle. “It’s a tough choice to make, but it’s something that needs to be done,” she said.

In addition to improving school lighting, which has not been changed since the 1980s, the high school upgrades will add air-conditioning to the school gymnasium and fix the building’s roof. “It will be a big improvement for the students,” Engle said.

School board vice president David Weader said the improvements would help bring the high school in line with the other Danville schools. The Danville Primary School opened in fall of 2011, Liberty Valley Intermediate School is still a recent building and the Danville Middle School reopened this school year after years of renovation and flood repairs.

Engle expected most of the work to be done in the high school this summer.

Improvements at other buildings include replacing boilers at the district’s Front Street building, the former Danville Elementary School, and replacing exterior lighting at Liberty Valley Intermediate School.

Voting in favor of the project were Schappert, Weader and members Barbara Bickhart, Joseph Stemm, Gregg Campbell, Christopher Outt, Jamie Hosterman and Randy Keister. Member Dawn Koons-Gill was absent from the meeting.

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