ABM completes work in Franklin schools
Published 8:48 am Saturday, November 15, 2014
In a phase II project to become more energy efficient, the ABM Inc. guarantee to the Franklin City Public School Division was that over the next 15 years it would save them more than $1.8 million in operational costs by replacing some of the old HVACs, boilers and kitchen equipment. Maintenance Supervisor Dan Custer said they did exactly what they said they would do.
Going back to the phase I project, the opposite occurred, though Custer said that portion of the project used a different company, as ABM had not yet bought out Linc Service.
“Phase I was going for the low-hanging fruit — like thermostats — it was not a big one,” Custer said. “I was not happy with the performance the first time. But the whole company has changed. The people I worked with then were all gone.”
Moving into phase II, however, it was completely different.
“It was like the difference between day and night,” Custer said. “The second time, they did what they said they were going to do, they did it on time and they did it right. I’d recommend them to anyone who was looking to improve their energy performance.”
Custer said it is a performance-based contract, which means that ABM will only be paid based on the energy savings that Franklin City Public Schools gains through having the new equipment.
One of the things that will see immediate savings will be the new serving lines, which were a big drain on resources.
“Some of them had been installed in the ‘60s,” Custer said. “They don’t make them like that anymore. When you have to repair them, the parts are expensive.”
Another one that won’t necessarily see any gains in energy efficiency, but it has changed the atmosphere at S.P. Morton Elementary School — literally. The school had high CO2 levels throughout the halls thanks to an inefficient boiler. The school wasn’t required to bring them up, but high CO2 levels are not conducive to learning.
Richard Kinkead, ABM operations manager, said that district-wide, they focused on three areas: lighting, kitchens and upgrading the antiquated telephone system.
They retrofitted or replaced existing light fixtures with new digitally balanced ones, and they also installed a motion system so if there was no one in the area, it would turn off. It also changed the types of bulbs that the system would use.
Kinkead said the FCPS lighting system should see 77 percent less energy consumption.
In the kitchen, like Custer said, it will upgrade some items that were often in disrepair. The telephone system uses the new voice over Internet protocol system.
At Franklin High School, HVAC systems were installed along with wireless thermostats that allow for programing and remote access.
“I can access it on my iPhone,” Custer said. “So if I’m on the road and there is a problem, I can troubleshoot on my phone.
“We’re coming into the 21st-century,” he added with a laugh.
Kinkead’s team also replaced an old “energy hog” boiler with two liquid petroleum gas on demand water heaters, which he said uses very little energy and gas.
At J.P. King Jr. Middle School, they upgraded a unit in the operation room and moved to a ductless system in the data room, which Kinkead said would increase the life of the IT equipment.
At S.P. Morton, on top of replacing the boiler, they also replaced some old tiles and added a make up air unit.
“In summary, we completed the project on time and on budget,” Kinkead said. “There were no disruptions to the learning environment. We’re very proud of that.”
The contract was signed in November 2013 and was for $1,754,959.