The Schalmont Operations and Maintenance Department has had a busy start to the new school year. In addition to the annual back-to-school upkeep and repairs, this year, the staff has been tackling additional tasks to increase safety and energy efficiency.
By replacing traditional fluorescent bulbs with energy efficient LED ones this summer, the district can expect to see about $60,000 a year in energy savings over 10 years. Because LED bulbs use half the electricity and have a 10-year lifespan, the bulbs will pay for themselves in energy savings within two years. There is also an additional savings of reduced labor costs as staff will no longer have to change the light bulbs on a yearly basis, unlike with fluorescent bulbs.
Nearly 200 additional cameras are now in place across Schalmont campuses to provide better security and safety both indoors and out.
“Nearly every inch of the buildings can now be monitored by camera,” Operations and Maintenance Supervisor Joseph Caldara said.
In 2008, the district contracted with Energy Education, Inc., a nationally recognized energy management and consulting firm, to implement a comprehensive energy conservation program. Since its inception, the program has helped change old habits and increase awareness among staff and students about the importance of energy efficiency. Since 2008, the program has generated a $1.8 million reduction in district-wide energy expenses. Energy costs have been successfully reduced through ongoing daily evaluation of energy needs in the district,the implementation of energy efficient cooling/heating schedules and shutdown schedules for weekends/holidays.
The district Facilities Committee, which has been meeting regularly
during the past year, continues to research and review challenges and
opportunities related to school infrastructure. The committee will
identify options to repair existing buildings and to enhance the
facilities on each campus. The committee plans to make recommendations
to the Schalmont Board of Education soon for a new five-year
facilities plan and a possible bond project for the upkeep of school
facilities. The community will have opportunities to participate in
the discussion at future meetings. Details, including the committee’s
recommendations, will be posted on the district website once they are