Savings Program Would Pay For School Upgrades

The parking lot of Lanes Mill Elementary School is scheduled to be redone. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  BRICK – The school district will begin an “exciting energy savings plan” called ESIP (Energy Savings Improvement Plan), where savings from energy-related improvements can be used to pay for those improvements, said the district’s Director of Facilities Tim Piccurrio.

  The improvements would be financed off the savings that would be generated over a 15-20 year period for little to no cost to the district, he explained.

  “With the approval and the final green light for that project, all our buildings are going to see much improvement in regards to their carbon footprint, their energy efficiency, and the building automation systems,” he said in a recent phone call.

  Every building in the district would get a comprehensive energy audit that would determine where all the energy usage is, and where the savings would be, he said.

  The schools will get full-system LED interior light upgrades after having a “patchwork” of LED upgrades over the years, and would include everything from the gyms into the custodial quadrants, he said.

  ESIP is used to help upgrade facilities to mitigate air quality concerns due to COVID-19 through enhanced HVAC systems.

  As work crews complete one building, they would move on to the next for “a pretty aggressive timeline, once it begins,” Piccurrio said.

  The plan is still in the final phases of third party verifications, but everything looks good. All the district’s numbers have been calculated, so the upgrades should begin this summer, he said.

  Another project that is less exciting, perhaps, but also needed, is replacement of the parking lot at Lanes Mill Elementary School, which is currently in the design and planning stage.

  “Every year we tackle a parking lot that is in dire need,” Piccurrio said. “It’s important for the health and safety of the students, staff and visitors.”

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

  Replacing the parking lot improves traffic flow and the atmosphere of how people enter a school, and allows for smoother school bus drop offs and pickups, he said.

  “We’ve met with several engineering firms, I’ve walked the sites with them, and they’re going to come with their design proposals and their cost estimates,” Piccurrio said.

  Drainage is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed at the school parking lot. When Lanes Mill Elementary School was originally designed, there was no inherent water management system, he said.

  Once an engineering plan is in place, the parking lot replacement and drainage plan would go out to bid with a goal of starting this summer, he said.

Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn

  School Business Administrator James Edwards said there is no cost information yet available since the district has civil engineers of record developing cost estimates for the parking lot replacement. It could potentially be included in the 2021-22 budget, he added.

  Other upcoming projects in the district include renovations or restorations to some of the roofs in anticipation of adding solar for the ESIP program on buildings that do not already have solar, Piccurrio said.

  These include Osbornville, Drum Point and Lanes Mill Elementary Schools; the transportation building (near Brick High School); some of the smaller roofs at Herbertsville Preschool; and some additional areas of Brick High School near the library.