Who turned out the lights?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Assistant Superintendent Allin Whittle presented the Butler County Board of Education members with a booklet that outlines the new energy savings program the school system is implementing this year during the board’s special called meeting, Thursday, July 31.

Whittle said that energy-saving light fixtures have been installed in all of the county schools this summer, and that new controls are scheduled to be installed by September.

The assistant superintendent said that T-8 light bulbs with electronic ballasts have replaced all incandescent light fixtures in the county schools.

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&uot;This is the accountability end of our interest-free qualified zone academy bond,&uot; Whittle said. &uot;With the money we’ve spent on this, we will recuperate the savings we hoped we would. Last year, Greenville High School had a power bill that peaked at $20,000 per month. With this program, we hope to get that bill down to $4,000, which is a reasonable amount for that facility.&uot;

Whittle said the project will be complete once the installation of the system controls is completed next month.

&uot;We should start seeing an improvement right away,&uot; he said. &uot;We will track the power bills from August to August, and have a comparison by school.&uot;

The school system’s energy-saving measures also include a computer-based energy-use tracking program called Energy Direct.com.

&uot;With this program, you can look at the meter readings in 15 minute increments and see where the trends are in power usage. Using that, we were able to make some adjustments in how we put this pamphlet together.&uot;

&uot;The pamphlet&uot; is a guidebook that will be distributed to each county school and instructs each facility on what their temperature settings will be for their heating and cooling units. The booklet also points out some common-sense tips on how to keep energy costs at a minimum at the schools.

&uot;Some of the tips are as simple as keeping the doors to the outside closed at all times,&uot; Whittle said.

He said the schools also will change the way they run their systems; keeping them at a set temperature, day and night, and bringing the schools’ systems up by zones, gradually, rather everything all at once, as is currently done.

Whittle said another new procedure will be the energy audits that will be conducted by the assistant superintendent and the maintenance personnel of each school.

&uot;We will be randomly conducting these audits to see if the guidelines set forth in the pamphlet are being adhered to,&uot; Whittle said. &uot;After each audit, we will talk with the principals to address how we can further our energy cost savings at each facility.&uot;

Other actions taken at the meeting were:

oAccepted the resignations of Jean Gilbert, elementary teacher at GES; and Richard Delafuente, band director at Georgiana High School.

oApproval of new promotion/retention policies for the K-6 grades.

oApproved the employment of Linda McLain Cook, elementary teacher at R.L. Austin; and Leander Pickens, physical education teacher at Greenville Middle School.

Dr. Mike Reed said the school system still had six teacher openings: three at Georgiana High School – a science teacher, social studies teacher and a band director; two at Greenville Elementary – physical education teacher and elementary teacher; and one elementary teacher at W.O. Parmer.

oApproved purchase of driver education car for $800.

Dr. Reed said the board will hold a workshop in the near future to review the school system’s report card from the state.