Mt. View looks at energy performance project

The Mountain View School Board heard a presentation on a potential energy performance program in the district at the Monday, Sept. 25 meeting, by Energy Systems Group’s John Schmid and Mike Bayessa.

According to the data presented, the elementary school’s Energy Star score is 121, compared to the typical elementary school score of 98. The elementary fuel bill is $118,000 per year, which is considered extremely high usage. The high school’s Energy Star Score is 131, compared to the average high school score of 83. The high school building’s fuel bill is $176,000 per year, which is also extremely high, even for a larger building, it was reported.

The ESG representative said that the district is doing a great job with the boiler, which is fueled by a biomass wood burner, very cheap fuel. However, the amount of energy spending, along with the outdated equipment and infrastructure that is past its useful life, would justify an energy performance program investment, he said.

The program also offers STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) seminars for educators and students.

A high-level energy audit and investment grade audit would first be conducted between November and February, with contract approval by the board in March and construction getting underway between April and September.

After the presentation and Building and Site Committee report, Board President Michael Barhite made a motion to advertise for RFQ Request Qualifications for energy savings programs.

In recent years, Blue Ridge and Elk Lake have both completed similar energy performance and savings projects.

District Maintenance Director Bob Taylor said that at the next board meeting, bids would be awarded for wood chips, fuel oil, paper, and other contracted materials.

In other business, Mountain View support staff member Danielle Scott pleaded with the school board and administrators to ban energy drinks from the schools.  Scott had been notified that cans of one such beverage are being sold in machines in the school through the contracted nutrition program.

Scott had asked for a ban on energy drinks a year ago, after discussions with her family cardiologist.

“My son died on Mountain View property,” she said. “He was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and then my daughter was diagnosed with the same condition, but worse. I can bring in data from my cardiologist. These energy drinks should be banned. I see kids bringing in five-hour energy shots and drinking five of them, one right after another.”

School Board President Michael Barhite explained that the drinks were included as a

healthy snack by the nutrition program because they have lower sugar and contain some fruit juice. They have 68 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounce can, he said.

“Have you buried a child?” Scott countered. “My son was healthy until he was not.”

School board member Monica Miller said, “I appreciate that you are adamant about this. You may have saved a child’s life.”

At the start of the public meeting, Student Government Liaison Matt Dougherty reported on Homecoming plans, a lock-in for Student Government members only, and an upcoming PSSG State Conference at Lock Haven. He said that the senior class will be taking a trip to Disney World. The grades 7-12 play will be Horror Movie 101.

Ski Club applications will be taken after the Fall Festival at Elk Mountain.

An executive session was held Monday, Sept. 11, from 9:15 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. discussing confidential information about a volunteer.

A state trooper and constable attended the meeting for security reasons.

Three teachers were acknowledged with tenure: Allison Butash, Katie Beichler, and Susan Gravine. 

The board had a first reading of Policy #904, Public Attendance at School Events. The district is considering charging admission for basketball indoor games during the winter season.

Superintendent Karen Voigt said that they are looking at other area schools for their admissions policies.

Only indoor activities are being considered for an admissions charge. It is possible that Mountain View students may be allowed to attend for free, or children under 12 will be admitted free.

The policy was tabled for later review.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was approved with MVESPA from Sept. 26, 2017 to June 30, 2020, as presented.

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