Honeywell contract could help fund school projects
Honeywell International recognized the opportunity. The company, a technology conglomerate based in Morristown, N.J., approached the district with an idea for completing some of those repairs without additional taxpayer support, Superintendent Steve Lutzke said.
The school board on Monday, July 18, is expected to approve a contract with Honeywell. Work would begin shortly after, Lutzke said.
"The selling point of this proposal is that, at the end of the financing of the project, the district will not have incurred any expenses," he said.
Honeywell presented the district with an energy service agreement and conducted a building audit of each school to identify areas where the district could save money by replacing or upgrading equipment.
The resulting report outlined projects at different rates of return. Administrators and school board members boiled the list down to projects with the highest rate of return, Lutzke said.
The savings realized by the district would pay for the upgrades, he added.
The district will finance a lease for the cost of the projects—$778,029—and put $2,500 down. It also will make annual payments of $2,500 for 15 years, Lutzke said.
At the end of the 15-year contract, the district will have spent $40,000, Lutzke said. However, it is projected to save $45,113 through utilities and operational savings, he said.
The contract includes an annual fee of $20,000 to Honeywell for maintenance and preventive services, as well as a fee for project development, Lutzke said.
All projects will be at the junior/senior high school and at Orfordville elementary. The futures of Newark and Footville elementary schools remain unknown as a district committee creates a long-term facility plan.
Almost half the projects include heating system upgrades. Other projects include adding more energy efficient lighting, plumbing improvements, digitizing the junior/senior high heat management system, closing gaps and leaks in windows and doors and adding motion light sensors.
Work would start after board approval and would be done by September or October, Lutzke said. Crews could continue working with students in the buildings because none of the projects involve major construction.
"The goal was to not have any additional expense on the taxpayer," Lutzke said. "Secondary to that, (it's) just to be more energy conscious."
Heating system and lighting improvements will make a more comfortable work and learning environment for teachers and students, Lutzke said.
Honeywell has worked with about 100 schools in Wisconsin alone, he said.