School Board looks to save energy
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Feb 16, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A plan with a number of ways to reduce energy consumption was unanimously approved the Trigg County Board of Education when the met Thursday night.

Derrick Pace talked to the board about the Energy Management Plan (EMP). Pace was selected as the Energy Manager last year and has led a district-level committee in forming the plan that the board looked at, said Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby.

“These will be our new day-to-day procedures for things such as heating and cooling temperatures, HVAC setbacks, how to treat lighting, classroom and office equipment, computers,” Pace said.

Hamby said it was a joint effort between the Trigg school district and the Marshall County, Calloway County and Murray Independent school districts to reduce energy consumption in the schools by 5 percent. He also stated that they’ve been working on this plan for the past several months.

A list of guidelines and goals was made available during the meeting. Included are suggestions to shut down computers and peripherals when in they’re not being used or when staff leaves for the day.

The guidelines also call on staff not to bring personally owned appliances like space heaters, coffee pots and candle warmers into the schools, as they use energy and are fire hazards, but exempts refrigerators and microwaves.

It also states that staff should use daylight or “task lighting” when students aren’t in the classroom and that staff turn off any overhead lighting when they leave a room.

“There are some suggestions in there about scheduling events,” Pace said. “I know those may not always be possible.”

Also included are suggestions to keep the cooling temperature at 72 degrees and the heating temperature at 68 degrees, give or take a couple of degrees, with a setback temperature of 85 degrees during the cooling season and 55 degrees during the heating season, beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m.

School Board Member Sheila Martin wondered if the middle school would be more energy efficient than the other two buildings, since it is the newest one.

Matt Ladd, director of operations for Trigg County Schools, suggested that the older buildings might be more energy efficient than the newer ones. He said the next day that a building having one floor as opposed to multiple floors could play into that.

The oldest school building, which houses the high school, was built in 1962. The primary and intermediate building was built in 1971, while the middle school building was built in 1999.

Pace called them “best practice” guidelines, and Hamby said the plan is “a work in progress” that will continue to improve as staff figures out what works and what doesn’t.

* In other business, board members unanimously agreed to make Monday, Feb. 21, a school day, given the number of days school has been cancelled due to snow. It was a growth day – a day that staff use to grow as educators.

Hamby said that as of Friday, students have missed 11 complete days of school this school year, and that with the added instructional day, the last day of school for students will now be Wednesday, June 1, provided school isn’t cancelled for any more days.

However, he also said that if students miss many more days because of snow, the board might have to discuss what to do about spring break.

* Board members also unanimously approved of an agreement between the district and the American Red Cross, an agreement that would let the Red Cross use school facilities as a mass care shelter, as it did during the 2009 ice storm.

* The board also approved a $500 contract with the Kentucky School Boards Association that will provide e-meetings for the Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) councils for the four schools. The school board currently uses this service. Hamby said it’s a great way for people to access what the SBDM councils are doing.

* The board also approved a $24,000 KETS grant, which will be put into escrow and used in the next three years to purchase new technology for the schools. Hamby said the district must provide an equal match.

* And the board approved a BG-1 for the central office re-roofing and HVAC replacement project. Hamby said Frankfort didn’t approve the previous BG-1 because the money would be taken out of the district’s Capital Outlay budget. Now that the money will come out of the General Fund, there shouldn’t be any problems, he added.

* The principals of the Trigg County Primary and Intermediate Schools gave reports on student performance at their schools as well as college readiness. Brian Futrell, principal at the intermediate school, said, “you don’t need to be in high school to talk about college readiness.”

Futrell also said that formative assessments aren’t of much use unless teachers are talking with the students about the assessment and their scores, something he called “an area of improvement.”
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