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Officials: Older buildings need renovations

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While the district has made strides in energy consumption, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. officials acknowledge there is still work to be done.

Many of the school corporation’s facilities were built between 1950 and 1970, a time when energy efficiency was not a top concern in engineering.

Decades later, the buildings need improvements. BCSC energy manager Charlie McCoy said that’s the perfect time to cut energy costs.

“We’re already tweaking the building, so it’s figuring out how to make it a real energy saver,” McCoy said.

Some of the projects are as simple as retrofitting areas with lights or faucets that turn on and off automatically. But others require an entire renovation of the HVAC infrastructure.

The Board of Education approved a $23.5 million, multischool renovation plan that is underway. Many of the projects will make a difference on the district’s utility bills:

Johnson Elementary School: Renovate existing heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment and infrastructure, which are mostly original from 1952

Mt. Healthy Elementary: Replace oil-fired boilers with propane-fired boilers

McDowell Education Center: Replace unit ventilators and associated piping

Columbus East High School: Renovate main gymnasium HVAC systems

Columbus North High School: Renovate pool HVAC system and lighting; upgrade electrical system in gymnasium

Parkside Elementary School: Replace 52-year-old HVAC piping

Smith Elementary School: Renovate HVAC systems, which will require replacing unit ventilators, replacing the 1968 boiler and adding a central air-condition unit

Taylorsville Elementary School: Convert HVAC system from two-pipe to four-pipe

McCoy also is hoping to reduce consumption by analyzing utility bills every month to pinpoint the biggest wastes of energy.

“I just have to be tenacious about this whole program,” he said. “We’ll find out what’s going to help and what won’t when we get the bill.”

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