Energy upgrades for South Whidbey schools are behind schedule

Upgrades and repairs to the South Whidbey School District’s buildings are already behind schedule. The state grant contract was finalized last week, which delayed work for energy audit company Ameresco Quantum and the sub-contractors.

“All the planning’s done, they have all the bids,” said Assistant Superintendent Dan Poolman.

Almost $1 million worth of work will be done this year, hopefully finished by December. The district projects saving $90,000 annually in utilities and maintenance costs with repairs and upgrades to heating and ventilation systems.

The original plan had the work finished by September, in time for the start of the 2012-2013 school year. Now, work will last into the winter, but Poolman said labor will be coordinated around school schedules so it won’t interfere with learning.

Funding for the work came from a $600,000 grant from the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, $152,000 in rebates from utilities company Puget Sound Energy and a $200,000 down payment by the district. The annual savings, school board members hope, will turn into money for teachers’ salaries.


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