2017-04-21 / Today's Top Stories

AASD Board of Education approves McClure Company as ESCO Partner

By Nathan Brown

Staff Writer

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — The Athens Area School District Board of Education has voted to approve the partnership with McClure Company for what could be district-wide infrastructure updates with the purpose of cutting energy costs.

Mainly, District Business Manager Laura Perry stated that the district will focus on the Harlan Rowe Middle School as she said the district may not see all of the updates that they wish to implement.

“We are focusing our efforts on the facility that needs it the most and that is Rowe Middle School,” stated Perry.

She related that Harlan Rowe Middle School needs some exterior envelope improvements as well as lighting upgrades and addressing the building’s boiler and backup generator, along with other potential improvements.

As Perry presented on behalf of the district’s finance and operating committee during Tuesday’s board of education meeting, she related that the committee recommended the district partner with McClure as opposed to Honeywell, the second company that put its hat into the ring following the district’s legal advertising.

She related that the committee liked that McClure had a local presence as they have performed similar projects at both Towanda and Troy school districts.

Now that the district has selected its ESCO partner, Perry stated that the next step would be for McClure to come to the district and perform a facility study.

Following the study, it will bring back a list of potential improvements, listing what the initial cost of the improvement would be, but also adding how much money could be saved via the energy savings that would be a result of the improvement.

“The energy you save pays for the cost of doing the upgrades,” stated Perry.

“We feel that there are some needs in our district, we are looking for an economical way to address those without taking out of the fund balance and without raising taxes,” she added.

Perry went on to state that by selecting the partnering company, the district is not committed to doing any of the improvements.

Perry said, “It’s informational at this point.”

Superintendent Craig Stage stated that following a building control survey completed a few years ago by Hunt Engineering, it provided a list of needed upgrades across the district following a survey of the district’s facilities.

“It’s what led to this,” said Stage.

He added that instead of the district picking projects off one-by-one, it made more sense to tackle them as a whole, which saw the district reaching out to companies such as McClure.

“It’s important for us to capture some financial savings that we can do together that meet our five-year facility plan,” remarked Stage.

Nathan Brown can be reached at (570) 265-2151 ext. 1639 or email: nbrown@thedailyreview.com.

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