School board eyes energy costs

The Tiffin City Board of Education heard a presentation Tuesday from a representative of Brewer-Garrett Co. about the possibility of an energy saving project for the buildings in the district.

Business Development Manager David Smith of Brewer-Garrett Co., a provider of energy efficiency projects of Cleveland, presented the board with an investment grade audit report which the board approved in February. Brewer-Garrett’s team went to all the district’s buildings looking for ways to improve energy saving costs, Smith said.

He said they are looking at ways to improve interior and exterior lighting by providing more efficient lamps and installing lighting sensors.

The audit also looks at ways to save on heating, water and electricity costs.

The energy conservation project is to be through House Bill 264. The bill proposes government funding to go toward approved projects through the Ohio School Facility Commission, which will allow districts to use utility funds for capital improvements. Financing for the local project would be for 15 years and cost an estimated $778,893.

An additional project to replace 11,040 square feet of windows at Columbian High School also was proposed. The project is to be done through a design build, which is, according to the Design-Build Institute of America website, a project method where a team works under a single contract with the owner to provide design and construction services. Financing for the windows project would be for 30 years and cost an estimated $1.3 million.

Smith said the projects will be bid out to local vendors.

Board member Roland Zimmerman said he is concerned about whether it would be a good investment to replace the windows now.

Donald Coletta, Tiffin City Schools superintendent, said there is a need to replace the windows and the project would be a way to fufill that need without asking for additional funds.

“The money that is saved through the energy saving projects, can be used to pay for the window project,” Smith said.

The board is to vote on whether to move forward on the projects at their next meeting, scheduled for 7 p .m. Tuesday at the Tiffin Middle School Cafetorium.