CHIPLEY — Improvements at Washington-Holmes Technical Center have saved the district $150,351, the Washington County School Board was told during Monday’s meeting in the district administration building in Chipley.

CHIPLEY — Improvements at Washington-Holmes Technical Center have saved the district $150,351, the Washington County School Board was told during Monday’s meeting in the district administration building in Chipley.

Brian Walker, measurement and verification manager for ABM Building and Energy Solutions of Florida, and Mark Hagerman, ABM vice president of sales, were on hand to update the board members with an energy review during the October board meeting.

“The reductions in electricity and gas usage for the construction and audit period reduced pollution by 1,218 barrels of oil not consumed,” said Walker.

The renovations at WHTC, which began last year, included control renovations and upgrade, the replacement of 67 air conditioning systems, lighting replacements and upgrades, water side renovations, weld shop exhaust fan system and the installation of a heavy equipment complete exhaust ventilation system, Walker said.

The district is expected to save $2 million through the Bundled Energy Solutions Program which ABM installed last year, according to the website,

The project was projected to reduce energy consumption on Washington-Holmes Technical Center's 26-acre campus by over 1 million kWh per year.

Along with significant utility and operating savings, ABM also offered students in the school's Building Trades Program hands-on experience with the project.

Improvements to the 15 buildings on campus include retrofitting light fixtures with new high-efficiency T-8 fluorescent lamps and ballasts; renovating exhaust systems in certain buildings for improved air circulation; installation of a campus-wide, web-based HVAC control system, allowing the school to better manage energy use as well as notify appropriate staff should any problems arise with the equipment; and 63 HVAC units will be replaced with high-efficiency equipment that exceeds a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15, according to the website.

From the period of March 2012 to June 2013, the district saw utility savings of $116,723, Walker told the board, saying the district would have spent $251,904 in utilities but actually only spent $135,181, for the savings of $116,723.

Contractually, the district was guaranteed savings of $149,314 ($30,000 in maintenance and operation savings and $119,314 in energy savings), Walker said. However, the total savings for the period was actually $150,351 ($30,000 in maintenance and operation savings, $18207 in construction period energy savings, $98,516 in audit period savings July 2012-June 2013, $1090 in reconciled energy savings and $2,538 in operational water savings.)

The saved energy amounts to 1,218 barrels of oil not consumed, or 4.0 acres of forest preserved, Walker said.

“We’re right where we said we’d be with the energy savings,” Board President Terry Ellis said.

The board also discussed the bus schedule at Kate Smith Elementary School.

On Sept. 30, teacher Marla Whitaker told the school board of her concerns about elementary students who are forced to wait 30 or more minutes after school for their bus to arrive, some times with little supervision.

Transportation and Maintenance Director Mike Park told the board on Monday that the buses were running the best schedule they could.

“I went to Kate Smith and noted the bus arrival times,” Park said. “After the first couple of weeks of school, the schedule settled down.

“They are delivering the students who live nearby to make room for the elementary students,” Park said. “We’re doing the best we can, but the schedule is set. Right now, this is the most efficient schedule we can come up with.”

“The children are still staying out there waiting,” Board Member Susan Roberts said.

“We want to stay on top of this,” Ellis said. “We are going to have to address different fixes, other than just buses.”