The Liberty County Board of Education on Wednesday approved an agreement for district-wide energy management services, a vote it had delayed for several meetings.
About 15 minutes of discussion preceded the vote, which gave the green light to Heery International to conduct an energy analysis for a lump sum not to exceed $49,412.
“Can somebody explain to me in real simple terms exactly what we’re going to get out of this proposal?” board member Carol Guyett asked.
Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Conley said the district is trying to meet goals for its balanced scorecard, a strategic-planning and management system used by large organizations to improve communications and monitor performance.
The scorecard applies to curriculum, maintenance and operations and efficiency.
Under the plan, the district needs to document its current use of water, gas, electricity and waste management and determine how it can maximize its efficiency, Conley said.
“What you just told me is, they’re going to look at bills,” Guyett said.
“Well, they do a walk-through of the building, and they go through and evaluate the building — if I walked through this room, I wouldn’t be able to tell you that these lights cost you more than another light that you could install — those kind of things,” Conley said.
Guyett asked how comprehensive the analysis would be and said the proposed contract referred to the possible need for a more comprehensive study.
“That’s why I was wondering exactly what we’re getting for this,” Guyett said. “But we will have an analysis of each building, the envelope at least, and they will tell us whether the windows are bad, it needs more insulation, whether we need to switch from electric to gas.”
Conley said the proposed agreement does not obligate the board to engage Heery for future efficiency transitions, but that the board could engage the company if it chooses to do so.
Board member Marcia Anderson said she was concerned that the documentation referred to the work as a preliminary audit.
“This sounds like we’re just getting something to start with, and then we’re going to have to go further to do it,” Anderson said.
Conley said the purpose of the study is to identify changes that can increase efficiency, but it does not include the labor to make the changes.
Rodger Osborne, director of maintenance and operations, clarified that “preliminary” and “investment-grade” are terms that define how deep a study would go.
“It’s not a detailed, investment-grade, or specification-grade — you can’t take this information, send it out and get a bid back,” Osborne said. “It’s going to require additional work if you look at that and you choose to budget it and schedule it.”
The study will compare schools within the district, between districts and nationwide, Osborne said.
The board also approved a $174,828 bid from AdaptToSolve for installation of a security system at Bradwell Institute.
The vote was previously scheduled for the board’s April 13 meeting but was scrapped because two of the three the bids received were not adequate.
BRPH architect Matt Walsh said Wednesday that the lowest and middle bids both contained mathematical errors that affected their project bid price.
After Walsh contacted the companies to get proper bid totals, the bids maintained the same order.
Southeastern System Technologies was the higher bidder with $271,419 and OnePath was the middle bid with $224,483.
In other news:
• The board approved a $41,486 deduction for paving work at Joseph Martin Elementary and Snelson-Golden Middle schools, bringing the final contract amount to $317,503.
• The board approved a three-year alternative-education services contract with Ombudsman Educational Services with 50 middle-school slots and 120 high-school slots each year.