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Shelton School District lands energy grant

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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The Shelton School District received a $230,000 energy conservation grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The money, part of $100 million in competitive energy grants provided by the 2010 Legislature, was awarded in Phase 2 of the grant awards.

It will be used to upgrade heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems at Mountain View Elementary and Choice High School and to install a Web enabled, energy management system to control boilers at the schools throughout the district.

Bob Woods, the district's director of facilities management, said the boilers at the schools are 30-40 years old. The new boilers will be high efficiency, gas-fired condensing boilers.

The new control system, which is computerized, will allow staff to look over the systems at each school and make necessary adjustments to the boiler heat loops from the maintenance shop, Woods said.

"Right now there is no central control over them," Woods said. "We have to go manually change the thermostats."

In addition, part of the grant will be used to replace the water heater at Shelton High School with a heat pump type water heater. Woods said the existing equipment was from the early 1970s.

The district will provide about $150,000 in matching funds for the Phase 2 grant, according to Brenda Trogs-tad, the district's director of finance.

Shelton received $500,000 in the first round of grant awards. That money was used for heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems at Shelton High School.

Roof heat pumps were replaced. "Some of those were original equipment," Woods said.*

The district match for the Phase 1 grant was almost equal to the $500,000 award but so far the numbers coming in are lower than anticipated. "We saved money on the first one," Trogstad said.

Trogstad said the district had to do a specific energy audit to identify projects that could demonstrate guaranteed energy savings before applying for the grant funds.

The grant money must be used for HVAC systems, repair and upgrade of controls, replacement of inefficient lighting and building improvements.

"This second set of grant awards for school building improvements continues to reach out to all areas of the state and will result in more than $73 million in construction," Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said. "Relatively simple things, like proper ventilation and adequate lights, can have a positive impact on student learning."

OSPI has awarded more than $42 million of the $50 million in Phases 1 and 2. About $7.5 million remains for the third round.

Trogstad said the OSPI has not released information about grant applications for Phase 3.

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Original Publication Date: September 23, 2010

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