City schools netting millions in energy savings

By CHRISTY ARMSTRONG
Posted 11/7/18

Cleveland City Schools has saved millions of dollars, thanks to an energy conservation program the district began nine years ago. Paul Ramsey, energy manager for the district, told the Cleveland …

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City schools netting millions in energy savings

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Cleveland City Schools has saved millions of dollars, thanks to an energy conservation program the district began nine years ago. 

Paul Ramsey, energy manager for the district, told the Cleveland Board of Education on Monday the district has saved $5,639,506 since 2009. 

“This is despite us adding new programs,” Ramsey said, noting energy usage has overall decreased by more than 33 percent. 

New programs such as culinary arts and Raider Arena have been added to Cleveland High School since then. Ramsey also noted the school buildings are being used more frequently in the summer. 

Still, efforts to cut back on energy usage have offset increased building usage. Ramsey said he expects this trend will continue as the district begins to see the effects of an $8.2 million series of renovation projects it is doing with a company called Energy Systems Group. 

These efforts have included installing energy-efficient fixtures such as new HVAC equipment at E.L. Ross Elementary and Donald P. Yates Primary, adding in new LED lighting and more.

“You should see significant savings for that over the next year,” Ramsey said. 

Brian Templeton of Upland Design Group also gave the board an update on the city’s new school — Candy’s Creek Cherokee Elementary — being built off Georgetown Road/Highway 60. 

The building is currently all “under roof.” With the exception of some remaining site work, workers will be turning their attention indoors as winter approaches. 

“Our contractor continues to make steady progress. … They’re on schedule; things are looking good,” said Templeton. 

The new elementary school building is expected to be completed in March 2019, and will begin welcoming students the following August. 

Director of Schools Dr. Russell Dyer also offered an update on how the district is undergoing a rezoning process in light of the new school opening. 

He recounted discussions which took place during a school board retreat on Oct. 30. Committees have been busy looking at everything from current building capacities to how the rezoning process itself will work. 

He also offered a reminder of the district's Community Meeting on Elementary School Zones. It takes place this Thursday at 6 p.m., at Mayfield Elementary School. 

The board also voted to approve the instrument which will be used for Dyer's annual director's evaluation. 

Board members chose to replace an instrument several pages long with one fitting on a single page. They will also give Dyer a score on a 1-to-3 scale, from "Needs improvement" to "Excels," rather than a 1-to-5 scale. 

"It's short, but it gets the point across," Dyer said. 

The evaluation process begins in January 2019, when board members will each have individual meetings with Dyer to discuss his work. 

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