MILTON — The Milton Area School Board members approved a $1.9 million contract with NRG Controls North Inc. to eliminate conditions that led to mold problems in the 2018-19 school year.
During a public meeting on Tuesday night, the board members voted to hire NRG, of Selinsgrove, to upgrade automatic temperature controls and HVAC equipment at the high school a bid of $1,949,690. SitelogIQ Program Executive Damion Spahr, who has been in charge of an estimated $5 million project to reduce energy costs and eliminate mold problems, presented the bid for consideration.
“The bid came in where we expected it to based on our budget, and we’re recommending approval,” said Spahr. “This part of the project can be funded by ESSERs (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding).”
Milton Area had to delay the opening of school by two weeks in 2018 after mold was found in all five district buildings. Environmental companies spent a month in the schools, mitigating humidity and mold damage and repairing aging HVAC systems, at a cost of $1.48 million.
Spahr said SitelogIQ has been preparing the school for NRG by shutting off the chilled water systems and then will be installing piping and valves. NRG will provide the equipment and then update the building controls.
The objectives are to provide mechanical dehumidification capabilities to achieve humidity control; improve the indoor learning environment with air quality and comfort; enhance facility control capabilities with modern automatic temperature control system improvements, and address infrastructure deferred maintenance needs.
The base scope of work includes new chilled water piping; new unit ventilators and fan coil units; a new four-pipe system to the shop classrooms; provide reheat at the cafeteria, gym and auditorium/stage; upgrade automatic temperature control system to direct digital control, and reduce equipment/controls to essential levels and bi-polar ionization, said Spahr.
Spahr said they are gradually increasing temperatures now until mid-August in order to reduce humidity in all the buildings.
“It’s a race against the clock right now given our current situation,” said board Director Brett Hosterman.
Superintendent Dr. Cathy Keegan praised Spahr and SitelogIQ for their work.
“I want to acknowledge the additional work that SitelotIQ is doing now outside the scope of the project,” she said. “They’re also managing the humidity in the middle school. They’ve gone above and beyond the service they needed to provide the school district.”
With the amount of rain last week, that meant a lot of humidity, she said.
“They graciously stepped up and willingly managed the whole complex,” said Keegan.