PITTSBURGH, PA. – Pittsburgh-based Linc Mechanical, LLC and Energy Technologies, Inc. of Drums, Pa., both members of the Linc Service Network, have partnered to provide a program centered around an infrastructure funding strategy for the facility needs at the Northwest Area School District. The district is located in the northeast region of Pennsylvania with a student population of approximately 1,400. Linc Mechanical and Energy Technologies provided funding solutions, which did not require an increase in local taxes, for the Northwest Area School Districts’ high school and two elementary schools’ comfort systems that were in immediate need of replacement.
Linc Mechanical and Energy Technologies’ Bundled Energy Solutions’ project accomplished a “no new taxes” goal by reducing several cost centers in the Northwest Area School District’s operating budget, which produced $5 million in capital funding over a 15 year term. Linc’s strategy provides enough funding to address critical comfort system replacements and other esthetic improvements for the betterment of the learning environment. The project, which is scheduled for completion this Fall, will accomplish the following:
- Northwest Area Middle/High School: New hot water boilers; hot water distribution piping; new classroom unit ventilators; wireless building control systems; new high efficient lighting; window replacements; re-commissioning of the HVAC assets not replaced; electrical service expansion and upgrades; new soffits and fascia; and installation of a security system
- Northwest Area Intermediate School (formerly known as Hunlock Creek Elementary School) and the Northwest Area Primary School (formerly known as Huntington Mills): New wireless building control system; installation of high efficient lighting; and re-commissioning of the current HVAC systems
The Northwest School District is located in a rural community with a small tax base. During the past school year, they were forced to close one of their three elementary schools. The school district reorganized the remaining two elementary schools into one elementary and one intermediate school.
“The Northwest Area School District has had a busy few months,” said Nancy Tkatch, Northwest Area School District’s Superintendent. “The consolidation of the elementary schools and a timely district wide energy project have allowed us to look forward to the start of a new school year with many new beginnings. It will be a refreshing change for students and parents as they arrive at the Middle/High School to see new windows, refurbished entry ways and essentially a more comfortable learning environment.”
“We are thankful for what Linc Mechanical and Energy Technologies have been able to accomplish for us. They have been working diligently to ensure the project timeline stays on track, so it will not interrupt the start of school on September 7, 2010,” added Tkatch.
Linc Mechanical worked closely with the school district through Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA) process, which provides government agencies the means to utilize guaranteed savings from their existing budgets to pay for facility improvements as a key alternative to raising local taxes. The Act allows these savings to be used over a 20 year term.
In addition, Linc Mechanical hired local companies to assist with the project for the portions not self-performed by their staff. By hiring local contractors and suppliers, Linc is providing needed employment opportunities and reinvesting in the local economy. The local companies include the following: Borton-Lawson, an architecture and engineering firm; Mountain Stream Construction Inc., a local general contractor; Mesko Glass, a windows supplier and installer; and Ralston Mechanical Systems, Inc, a local piping contractor.
“This has been a great experience for the Linc Mechanical and Energy Technologies’ team and has been a thorough test of our public finance acumen. The capital needs of the district were great and the amount of available funding initially appeared to be too small. The combined efforts of the district’s staff and ours have produced a funding solution that will enrich the learning experience for generations of students,” said Dan Dowell, Linc Network’s Director of Energy Solutions for the Mid-Atlantic Region. “We are also excited to work with Ms. Tkatch and her staff on a student awareness program focused on educating the students on how they can positively affect their environment through conservation and recycling.”