On December 5, 2018, voters approved a 15 year, three phase capital improvement project.
Since March 2018, the district has been working with King+King Architects to craft a project scope, timeline and budget. The district is proposing to spend no more than $10 million on the projects listed above, in addition to a $1.5 million energy performance contract (EPC), which would be undertaken simultaneously to make the capital project improvements as energy-efficient and cost-effective as possible.
The project’s focus on safety complements Moravia’s overall renewed commitment to the social and emotional wellness of all students, as do several other renovations included in the proposed project scope, such as a library reconfigured to feature collaborative workspaces and an innovative approach to corridor lockers. The EPC, meanwhile, will include such energy conservation measures as lighting controls equipped with daylight harvesting and dimming capabilities; improved insulation and sealing; automated electronic controls; and several mechanical system upgrades.
An EPC enables a school district to cover the costs of energy efficiency upgrades over time using the savings generated by the upgrades—also known as energy conservation measures (ECMs). The “savings” generated by ECMs are effectively avoided costs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, performance contracts “operate on the understanding that schools will use the avoided cost to pay off the cost of installed ECMs.”
According to a report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO), schools that pursue [EPCs] can reduce their energy consumption by an average of 23 percent for major HVAC equipment replacement and 21 percent for combinations of other low-cost improvements in hot water production, lighting, and refrigeration, without sacrificing occupant comfort or building operations.”
The work being done for the capital project is from a separate funding source that is aidable at our building rate of 83.6%. This means that the district is reimbursed from the state 83.6 cents for every dollar spent. All other facility upgrades and needed maintenance would not be reimbursed from the state if we did not do the work as an approved capital project. On December 2018, voters approved the 11.5 million dollar project at an approval rate of 86%. Because state aid calculations are partially based upon the amount of a district’s debt, being in debt is actually fiscally healthy for a school district. We maximized the amount in our capital reserve fund and therefore this work will represent no new taxes to the community.
The work being done is much needed work that is specific to the priorities determined by the facilities committee to include secured entrances, asbestos abatement and HVAC. In addition, much of the work is part of an approved energy performance contract that will save the district thousands of dollars over the next several years based on increased efficiencies.
Since it involves safety and security, the state has determined the work to be essential and this is why we have continued while the students are not allowed to return. Our hopes are that we will finish early this way and lock in to very low interest rates for whatever borrowing needs to occur upon completion. In addition, this also guarantees that we will have all of the renovations done sooner and will not impact the staff/students' return to school.
Work that was done during Summer 2019:
- Asbestos abatement work
- New lighting/ceilings complete
- New classroom flooring
Work planned for 2020:
- The main entrance of the Middle School and High School will be renovated to provide a more secure entrance to the building and main office.
- Most interior doors of Millard Fillmore Elementary, Middle School and High School will be replaced with new doors that include intrusion hardware, providing a safe space in the event of an intruder.
- Many exterior doors at the Highschool and Middle School will be replaced with upgraded secure doors.
- Day Automation will continue to install new security cameras throughout the buildings, creating a more secure space for students, this includes new cameras in entry ways and hallways. The district will continue to use Smart Bond money to fund this effort.
- Collaborative spaces will be added in the Middle School and High School giving students more spaces to meet in groups.
- Middle School/High School Cafeteria upgrades to include adding large gathering spaces, projection capabilities and air conditioning.
- Most lockers will be replaced in the Middle School/High School giving students more storage space for school supplies.
- The EPC will install new lighting in the MSHS Auditorium and will be adding air conditioning to that space for the end of the year events.
- This project will continue to remove asbestos containing materials within both buildings.
- Replacement of all interior and exterior lighting in all buildings with LED lighting.
- Upgrades to the heating loop pumps to more energy efficient systems.
- Replacement of unit ventilators within classrooms of Millard Fillmore Elementary to more efficient systems.
- Air conditioning will be installed in the High School auditorium.