During itsTuesday morning work session, the Sampson County Board of Education was presented a revised proposal for updating the school system’s long-range facility plans, and members were given an update on the options that are before them concerning a possible venture into more efficient energy conservation.
Long-range facility planning
Anthony Vann, executive director of auxiliary services for the school system, first shared with the board the most current proposal from Moseley Architects, the firm the board is considering to help them revamp the long-range facility plans.
The cost included in Moseley Architects’ first proposal, which was submitted back in March, was $113,708.
“At this point, that was more than we wanted to spend,” said Vann when contacted later for follow-up questions.
Vann explained that the board decided to cut out some items that were originally included in that first proposal, items that they felt were unnecessary or that they could take care of themselves.
“In that first one (proposal), they (Moseley Architects) had included things like holding local community meetings and things like that which we decided we could do in house, so we were able to save some money that way,” Vann noted.
Now, after deducting the costs of those changes, the cost given by Moseley Architects in the revised proposal is $77,908.
“I think we have got a good number now,” the director noted. “I think we have trimmed out all we can so that now it is just the essentials. If anything is taken out now, I think it would affect the overall quality.”
“That is still a lot of money for us to allocate,” noted board chairman Telfair Simpson as he looked over the numbers during the work session.
“I think it is something that we really need but I recommend that we wait until our June meeting,” chimed in superintendent Dr. Ethan Lenker, wishing to wait and see what the state and local budgets look like. The board agreed.
“The board has not approved anything yet. It all depends on the final budget from the state,” Vann added.
Vann then shared with the board that he had done more investigating into the system’s energy conservation options, noting that he had, at the board’s previous request, looked into the free energy conservation program offered by the state energy office.
As a result of his research, Vann said the free program was good but “very minimal” and he suggested members consider other options.
Having already met with the energy conservation company Cenergistic earlier this year, Vann told the board he had recently met with another energy conservation company — Educon Energy out of Winston-Salem.
Vann shared that Educon Energy has worked with schools in New Hanover, Nash-Rocky Mount, and Rowan counties, to name a few.
“New Hanover’s been in it about a year,” said Vann, adding that on average the schools’ energy savings have been between 18 and 20 percent.
“Both groups are in the business and have references,” said Vann. “Cenergistic may be more detailed, their training may be more detailed, but all indicated that that person (the energy manager) being the right person is key.”
“So they (Cenergistic) are like the Cadillac of energy saving companies?” asked Simpson.
“Yes, they’re the Cadillac,” Vann agreed.
The board suggested that Vann continue to explore their energy conservation options and have more information ready for them at their next meeting.
The board will further consider both of these items during the next Board of Education regular meeting to be held Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. in the Central Office auditorium, just off Rowan Road.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.