City schools praised for saving $2M for energy
by DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Sep 06, 2013 | 1293 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cleveland City Schools
CENERGISTIC representative David Galik, left, presented an award to Cleveland Board of Education Chairman Tom Cloud, middle, and Director of City Schools Dr. Martin Ringstaff for the system’s energy-saving efforts.  Banner photo, DELANEY WALKER
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National energy conservation company Cenergistic recognized Cleveland City Schools at Thursday night’s board meeting for saving more than $2 million in less than four years.

Company representative David Galik presented an award to school board chairman Tom Cloud and Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools.

Galik commended the school system on its selection of Paul Ramsey as the energy supervisor.

“The [energy] the district has saved over the past four years has been 13,259 metric tons of CO2,” Galik said. “That may not mean much to most people, but that is the same as removing 2,380 passenger automobiles off the road for a year.”

According to cumulative cost savings reports, the school system’s expected energy costs are $7,062,206. The cost avoidance program has lowered the actual energy cost to $4,852,431. This amount covers the nine schools, administrative building, the maintenance and transportation department and the STAR center.

The total program savings is $2,221,742.

Galik explained the energy reduction impact is equivalent to 339,132 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

The school system’s total floor area is 1,175,618 square feet.

“The year before the program started, it cost you on average $1.27 per square foot to run the school system,” Galik said. “As of this year, in the fourth year of the program, you have it down to 96 cents per square foot.”

All costs associated with the Cenergistic program are taken from the school district’s utilities fund. The savings are projected, and proven, to cover and exceed the costs of the program. Ramsey uses energy tracking software to monitor the consumption of electricity, water, sewer and natural gas by the district. This allows him to see where to target areas for effective energy saving measures.

Dr. William Spears, chairman and founder of Cenergistic, praised the city schools’ efforts in a recent press release.

“Reaching this savings mark is a significant milestone. Cleveland City Schools has achieved success by consistently implementing the organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts in all levels of the organization,” Spears said. “The director of schools and board, along with other administration, faculty and staff members, are to be commended for clearly fulfilling their commitment to being good stewards of taxpayers’ money and the environment.”

Ringstaff updated the board on recent changes and additions to the city school teaching staff. A total of three positions have been added with two additional teachers moved out of Arnold Elementary to Cleveland Middle School and Cleveland High School respectively.

Board members voted to allow Ringstaff to make necessary additions to the teaching staff between the August and September meetings.

Ringstaff assured the board members the teachers are working great in their new positions and the principals have been team players throughout the transition. A special thanks was given to Principal Mike Chai as two teachers were taken from his school.

Michael Kahrs, supervisor of data management, presented current school population numbers to the board. Numbers taken in on the 20th day of school found the total population up by 48 students over last spring’s end of the year population of 5,140.

The total growth is 27 less than what was reported after the 10th day of school this year.

He explained the elementary school population leveled out marginally thanks to a smaller kindergarten class. The growth was primarily seen in middle school and high school as larger grade cohorts moved to the next level.

The current total population for this year is 5,188 students.

George R. Stuart Elementary Principal Randall Stephens recognized paraprofessional Sheila Webb and fourth-grade teacher Christina Melton as his school’s employees of the month. Both were recognized as being dedicated to their students with a can-do attitude.

Board member Dawn Robinson reminded student liaison Samantha Douglas the school board does not determine the dress code. She encouraged Douglas to tell her fellow students that any qualms with the dress code should be addressed to CHS Principal Autumn O’Bryan. According to Robinson, O’Bryan and the middle school form committees every spring to address the dress code issue.

The next school board meeting will be moved from the first Monday of the month to Oct. 14 at 5:30.