The Elk Lake School Board was informed of the success of the Guaranteed Energy Performance/Savings Project conducted by Johnson Controls over the past few years. Kim Guiton, Elk Lake Energy Management director, reported on the installation of energy conservation measures, and on the savings for the first year since the installation was completed.
The fossil fuel savings through the conversion to natural gas, as well as HVAC controls, operational and maintenance savings, and energy rebates, resulted in a savings of $349,367 for the first year of the program, with cumulative total savings of $517,468. The company guaranteed $335,809 for the first year, so there was an over performance of $13,558 for the first year and $51,173 to date.
Guiton said that some of the savings was calculated by actual measurements, and some by engineering calculations, but that the estimated savings was agreed upon from the beginning of the program.
She said that Johnson Controls added an extension to the technical support provided, and in the course of the year also changed the heating equipment and improved the direction of the flow of heated water, which at first was going mainly to the elementary building.
She said that the energy program “has been invaluable. Every visit, I have a list of problems for them to work on, and they start working on them,” she said.
The school buildings have had considerable improvements in comfort, ventilation, and security. Power supply battery backups, surge protection, and line voltage filters have also been installed.
Superintendent Ken Cuomo noted, “When something goes wrong, we need tech support immediately. This is a very high-technical, digitalized system.” Guiton agreed that a service contract will be needed every year, for this reason.
Cuomo also mentioned that the district budget and variance still are being negotiated.
The school board opted not to send a delegate to the PSBA conference this year.
Board member Chuck Place asked about roof damage from wind and a rainstorm. Cuomo said that after a recent storm, a maintenance staff member noticed that a big rubber section of roof was flapping in the wind, and that the wind somehow loosened a casing on top of a brick wall. A 12-foot section was loose. There was no inside water damage. A group of maintenance workers were able to put the piece of roof material back in place temporarily. The roofing company will have to replace a section. Cuomo said that the estimate was for $13,000, and $7,300 for masonry repair. He said that insurance will cover the cost of repairs minus the $5,000 deductible.
The natural gas for the district is supplied by Leatherstocking, and the low price of fuel oil is keeping natural gas rates low, as an incentive for businesses to convert to gas.
The buzz among board members centered around the Boston Marathon on April17, with two runners who once competed for Elk Lake High School crossing the finish line as part of more than 30,000 participants in the field. Ryan Place, 31, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who graduated from Elk Lake in 2004, finished in 26th place overall and 23rd among men with in a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and five seconds.
Ryne Carney, 26, of Washington, D.C., who graduated from Elk Lake in 2008, finished 451st overall and 419th among men in 2 hours, 47 minutes and 33 seconds.
Assistant High School Principal John Warnero noted that The Color Run will be held on April 29, and student council has been signing up participants. He said that a track and field event was postponed due to a rainstorm.
High School Principal Brian Mallery said that the Senior High Band and
Chorus concert will be held on Thursday, April 27.
Other items before the board included:
*A transportation cost index was approved for the 2017-18 school year of 5.681, a 2.1 percent increase over the present year’s index.
*An electrical supplier agreement was approved for Master Retail Energy for a two year contract effective May of 2018, for $225,000 per year.
*Policy 808 was approved, which concerns civil rights in regards to food services.
*Medical rates were approved, with individual rates set at $615 per month and family rates at $1,162 per month. Claims are down for the district this year, Cuomo said. He also noted, “We are fully funding our program now.”

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