Troy City Schools discusses future projects at work session Tuesday

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Troy City Schools Board of Education members are discussing options that could save money while upgrading utilities and equipment.

Board members met Tuesday in a work session with Madalena Pierangelino, account executive for the energy and sustainability services with Schneider Electric, about the possibility of using Schneider with future projects.

“We are trying to work out several situations with projects that we can foresee in the next few years,” said Troy City Schools Superintendent Dr. Lee Hicks. “We are just trying to figure out a way to address the possibility of concerns that could be coming up.”

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Hicks said some of the air conditioning units in the schools, specifically Troy Elementary School, have exceeded their life expectancy, and while they are working just fine now, a plan has to be in place to replace them when the time comes.

Schneider Electric is offering to provide architecture, engineering services and guaranteed savings for projects that the school system is considering.

Mickey Daughtry, Troy City Schools CFO, said Schneider bases some of the proposed savings on “weather normalization,” meaning that Schneider determines what is “normal weather” for the area, and bases funding accordingly.

“We look at more than one year to determine what is normal,” Pierangelino said. “One year could be really hot, while the next could be really cold. By normalizing it, you would compare the funding to those numbers.”

Another concern of board members was issues reported by Dale County, whose guaranteed savings with Schneider were not being met.

“Dale County said they did not receive the total that was guaranteed,” Daughtry said. “The CFO could not get Schneider to tell him where they had failed.”

Pierangelino explained that she did not know details of the issue, but that she would investigate it and report back to the board.

While the board did not take action on the matter, members are planning a meeting with Pierangelino and a Schneider Electric engineer to discuss the projects in more detail and to review costs and finances.

“I’m hearing generalities, but I’m not hearing any specifics,” said Mark Salmon, TCS board member. “There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ and we need to know what we are talking about. We need a menu of items that we can select and reasonable costs that go along with those items.”