Mahanoy Area School District moving forward with energy-saving project

Nov. 25—MAHANOY CITY — A series of energy conservation measures will be implemented at Mahanoy Area School District facilities over the next year.

At Tuesday's school board meeting, representatives from McClure Co., a Harrisburg-based construction management firm, spoke about a multi-stage energy project that the district aims to execute over the next several months.

The project involves proposals to upgrade the district's stadium fencing; LED lighting system; HVAC units in the elementary school; heating plants; building envelope; and indoor transformers.

The total cost for the work is projected to be $7,182,811, according to Alyssa Wingenfield, senior account executive at McClure.

John J. "Jack" Hurst, business administrator, said the district will use about $2.5 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds, along with about $500,000 from the reserve, to cover part of the project.

He said the board will likely vote to approve the first three proposals — the stadium fencing, LED lighting and HVAC upgrades — at the December meeting.

According to McClure's assessment, sections of the fence surrounding Alumni Stadium need to be replaced, as the chain-link fabric is damaged and parts are missing.

The LED upgrades, which are districtwide, will involve converting existing interior and exterior lamps/fixtures to LED through lamp retrofit or new fixtures. The project excludes specialized theatrical and stadium lighting.

The elementary school HVAC project will be composed of two components to replace the "antiquated" units currently in the building, according to McClure.

Benefits of the HVAC solutions include energy and operational savings; reduced maintenance; and improved indoor comfort.

Jeremy Shughart, senior mechanical engineer at McClure, said that major construction on the project is expected to commence in the summer after the preliminary stages are completed and the school receives the equipment.

"By the time December rolls around, (lead time) would probably be around 28 weeks, which would put delivery somewhere around the second week of July, pretty much the perfect time after everything has been prepped," Shughart said.

According to McClure's time frame, the preconstruction and final design processes are expected to occur from January to April, with mobilization, construction and closing processes slated from May through October.

In June 2021, the school board submitted a request for a proposal for a facilities condition assessment and, in August, appointed McClure to complete the assessment.

McClure specializes in energy projects for K-12 school districts. Since 1998, the firm has completed 145 projects in coordination with 80 districts across the state.

Other business

In his report, Hurst said the district has sworn in two school police officers, Craig Stine and Frank Gallo, to lead its police force. The district has established a dedicated police unit this year, called the Mahanoy Area School District Police Department, intended to bolster security and expand the police presence at the district.

SPOs are considered full-time school district staff and are entitled to the same benefits as all other employees.

"We've come a very long way in two months," Superintendent Joie L. Green said.

The board approved the following agenda items:

—An increase in the detention rate for monitors from $18 to $25.75 per hour.

—The donation of a breathalyzer from the Trooper Iwaniec foundation.

—The reclassification of $1 million of unassigned fund balance money to a committed fund balance for future capital projects.

—Salary adjustment of 40 cents per hour for all current support staff that were employees during the 2011-12 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2022.

The board also made the following personnel moves:

—Appointed Laura Bisco, of Barnesville, as junior/senior high school BCIT teacher on an emergency certification, Bachelors Step 1, at a salary of $43,460.

—Appointed Ashley Davenport, of Tamaqua, Alexia Daub, of Frackville, and Yessica Serrano, of Shenandoah, as special education teaching assistants at an hourly rate of $13, pending completion of clearances, training and all employment paperwork.

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