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South Hills

West Jefferson Hills district leaders to take part in energy savings program

| Friday, March 9, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

West Jefferson Hills School District leaders say the district will take part in an energy savings program that will offset the cost to air condition three district schools in the next several months.

School board members Feb. 27 unanimously approved an agreement with Trane U.S. Inc. for a detailed study to be done that will outline final pricing and work needed for the energy savings program, at a $95,000 fee.

The project is being done through the state's Act 39 and the U.S. Communities Cooperative Purchasing Program.

“We're going to have air conditioning in every building,” Superintendent Michael Ghilani said.

The program will allow the district to move from window air conditioning units at McClellan and Jefferson elementary schools and Pleasant Hills Middle School to building-wide air conditioning for 2018-19.

That alone will net an energy cost savings, Ghilani said.

Jefferson Elementary will go from half of an air conditioned building to a full.

Gill Hall will transition to building-wide air conditioning when an addition is added onto the school as part of the district's elementary reconfiguration plan.

The new Thomas Jefferson High School also will have building-wide air conditioning.

The program, through a building audit, identifies ways the district can be more energy efficient. The board's vote Feb. 27 allows for an indepth audit to proceed.

The savings from those changes — which could include sealing windows — should net an energy cost savings for the district that will offset the cost of the purchase of the new air conditioning equipment, Ghilani said.

“It has zero impact on the budget,” he said.

As part of the process, the district must submit energy bills for the last 36 months and historical records for maintenance costs. Trane also requires access to the buildings to conduct the study.

Stephanie Hacke is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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