Blount County Schools achieves $1 million in energy savings

Blount County Board of Education

-graphic courtesy of Schneider Electric

-graphic courtesy of Schneider Electric

Sustainability and energy conservation are in the forefront of every educational institution’s plans. Blount County Schools are no exception. During the regular meeting of the Blount County Board of Education Monday, representatives of Schneider Electric were on hand to recognize the school system for reaching a major milestone in their efforts of reducing energy costs.

Since partnering with Schneider Electric in 2017, the Blount County School system has achieved $1 million in energy savings. (See graphic page A12.) Once the school system signed its energy savings and performance contract with Schneider Electric four years ago, the two groups worked to design, develop, and implement a comprehensive and impactful program that would set Blount County Schools up for long-term success.

As a result, the system has been renovating their facilities to modernize the learning environment, streamline operations, upgrade buildings, and address deferred maintenance, while also reducing energy and operations expenses by 31 percent annually. After implementing the improvements, Schneider Electric and Blount County Schools continue the partnership through tracking and monitoring the program’s performance.

The savings are being generated through a variety of measures that improve energy efficiency and enhance the learning environment, including:

• interior LED lighting and controls/ exterior LED lighting.

• enhancing communication with the installation of a district-wide VoIP phone system.

• saving water with new water-reduction technologies at multiple facilities.

• modernizing HVAC and improving building comfort at multiple facilities with hundreds of material replacements.

• saving energy and improving comfort with extensive sealing of windows, doors, gaps and cracks across all buildings.

• streamlining operations with a new district-wide building automation system, which will ease the burden on maintenance staff who previously had to drive between the district’s widespread facilities to monitor equipment.

• replacing the boiler system at Susan Moore High School with a new variant refrigerator flow system.

• replacing the roof and HVAC systems at Hayden Primary School.

Todd Smith from Schneider Electric praised the school system for progress made “through the use of simple technology to regulate energy use, which has made all the difference in cost. This is just a step on the way to the guaranteed energy savings of $14.6 million.”

Other items of note on the agenda for Monday’s meeting included awarding a bid for the partial re-roofing of Cleveland High School and Locust Fork High School’s library to Garner & Associates, Roofing & Faculty Services, LLC. The board also approved superintendent Rodney Green’s recommendation to award the FY21 WiFi Upgrade RFP bid (Alabama Joint Purchasing Mini-Quote) to Synergetics Diversified Computer

Services. This RFP is contingent upon Erate funding. A copy of the bid information is on file in the superintendent’s office.

The board also approved Green’s recommendation to hire Neal Whittington as the new head football coach of the Appalachian Eagles. He replaces John Cooper. Whittington is a graduate of Appalachian High School and has served as an assistant coach for a number of years.

In other matters, the board reviewed Green’s recommendations. It approved: Contracts and services

• contract with the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts to audit federal awards beginning Feb. 11, 2021, and ending Feb. 11, 2022.

• facilities use agreement with the Jefferson County School System (Corner High School).

• contract with Kathleen Mooney Carleton to provide achievement evaluations for special education referrals and re-evaluations due to physical school closures beginning Feb. 2 and ending Oct. 1.

• agreement with Jennifer Leach beginning Jan. 4 and ending May 27.

• homebound contract #HB20- 21/005 with Mary Grace Hicks.

• Cleveland High’s agreements with Loft 212, SnapShots by Mike, and Universal Sound for prom.

• Cleveland High’s agreement with Universal Cheerleader Association to judge the 2021 cheerleader tryouts March 19.

• Hayden Elementary’s agreement with Walsworth Yearbooks for 2022 yearbook publication.

• Hayden High’s contract with Emma Blaising to serve as an auxiliary clinician beginning March 9 and ending March 11.

• Locust Fork Elementary’s month to month lease with Berney Office Solutions.

• Locust Fork High’s contracts with Jeremy Camp to serve as baseball/ softball concession stand supervisor beginning Feb. 11 and ending May 15; Faulkner Turf March 2 through Sept. 30; and BSN Sports beginning Feb. 15, 2021, and ending May 31, 2026.

• Southeastern’s contracts with Abby Martin, Taylor Smith, and Kelli Cooper to provide At-Risk tutoring and intervention services beginning Feb. 24 and ending May 20; Alice Alexandra Cole, Wiley Murphree, and Rosa Noles to provide High Hopes tutoring and intervention services beginning Feb. 16 and ending May 21; Platinum Entertainment and The Lake Wedding & Special Events Venue for the 2020-2021 prom; and GoFan for ticket sales.

• Susan Moore High’s service agreements with Metropolitan Disc Jockey Services and Loft 212, LLC for the 2020-2021 prom.

• Susan Moore Elementary School’s 36-month copier contract with Xerox. Resignations

• Cynthia Crook, custodian, Hayden Primary, effective March 1 (retirement)

• Mindi McKinney, child nutrition program employee, Cleveland High, effective Feb. 2

• Ashley Pace, special education aide, Hayden Middle, effective March 12 Employment (certified)

• Abigail Codding, long-term substitute instrumental music teacher for Jason Winningham, Hayden Middle, beginning March 2.

• Cheryl Beth Hull, long-term Pre-K substitute teacher for Alexa Thompson, Cleveland Elementary, beginning Feb. 16 and ending March 31 or the return of Mrs. Thompson, whichever occurs first.

• Robert O’Neal Whittington, head football coach, Appalachian, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. Employment (support)

• Amy Marie Lee Aldridge, custodian, Hayden Primary, beginning March 1.

• Brittany Thomas Hamby, child nutrition program employee, Cleveland High, beginning March 2.

• Bridgette Thomas, ACCESS Facilitator, J.B. Pennington, beginning March 2. General

• extend contracts approved Aug. 12, 2020, for temporary hourly health aides to assist school nurses with health related issues dealing with COVID-19 through May 27, 2021.

• approve substitutes during the 2020-2021 school year.

• approve the following individuals to serve as non-compensated volunteers for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year: Everett Johnson (Cleveland High); Cody Bell and Jeff Branham (Locust Fork High); and Chase Ganus, Ben Bailey, and Steevie Bailey (J.B. Pennington).

The Blount County Board of Education meets at 1 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.