ABM Saves Connellsville Area School District $26.4 Million in Operating Costs

Thursday, November 9, 2017

ABM’s Energy Performance Contracting Program Helps Finance District-wide Education, Security and Technology Initiatives through Energy Savings

ABM (NYSE:ABM), a leading provider of facility solutions, has initiated an Energy Performance Contracting program for Connellsville Area School District in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. ABM's customized solution is projected to save Connellsville Area School District more than $26.4 million in energy and operating costs over a 15-year period, which district officials plan to use to finance educational and technological initiatives across the district. The project launched on July 1, 2017 and is scheduled for completion in October 2018.

Energy and operational savings will be achieved by implementing infrastructure upgrades to multiple facilities in the district, including four elementary schools, Connellsville Area High School, Connellsville Area Middle School, and the Connellsville Area Career and Technology Center.

The district is using the project to help cut operational costs without sacrificing educational opportunities, as part of a three-year strategic financial recovery plan.

"Connellsville Area School District's turnaround is ambitious and sets the district apart from others," said Mark Newsome, President of ABM Technical Solutions. "The district is well-positioned to enhance its students' educational experiences by working with ABM to realize the savings our Energy Performance Contracting program can provide."

Philip Martell, Superintendent of Connellsville Area School District, said, "It is the perfect time to partner with ABM. We have operational issues across the board, but for us, the selling point of the project is the educational benefit to our students." He continued, "This partnership allows us to upgrade not only the facilities and security in our building, but also the technology. This project gives us the stability to move ahead with an educational component that a lot of public education institutions cannot due to funding cuts."

Earlier this year, the Connellsville Area School District consolidated its eight elementary schools into four, in an effort to align its operational budget with enrollment and improve its students' learning environment.

ABM's Energy Performance Contracting program enables the Connellsville Area School District to address the operational issues and aging infrastructure of its buildings without burdening the district's taxpayers.

The program enables district officials to retrofit and upgrade most of its buildings systems, while continuing to move toward technology-based educational programming for its students.

"A project like this provides us the ability to make educational upgrades we may not have been able to do otherwise because of a lack of funding," Martell said. "There are a lot of districts that may not be able to take on a project, like putting devices in students hands, right now, but they can do it, too, with the right help. For us, that was the partnership with ABM."

In each of the buildings, ABM will work to improve HVAC systems and maintenance, lighting, water conservation, and energy management systems.

ABM's Energy Performance Contracting program is a financial solution that meets clients' technical facility needs and sustainability goals. It drives costs out of clients' operating budgets and allows savings to be reallocated to fund educational and capital expenses. Click here for a video on how ABM is providing facility and financial solutions to school districts without upfront costs or tax increases.

Along with upgrading the school district's infrastructure, the solution is expected to produce enough general fund savings to purchase each student a Chromebook laptop computer, upgrade televisions, install SMART Boards in classrooms, and upgrade the wireless internet network throughout each of the district's buildings.

"Ultimately, the goal of our partnership with ABM is to provide educational opportunities for our students and staff and help us meet our buildings' needs to create an environment conducive to learning," Martell said. "ABM's creative solution will help us address our daily operational needs, while redirecting funding toward educational programming."

Click here to find a complete listing of the energy-efficiency and infrastructure improvements at Connellsville Area School District's facilities. Highlights of the project include:

  • Districtwide, replacing fluorescent lighting fixtures with new, energy-efficient LED lighting, upgrading security and safety features, and building envelopes
  • Installing upgraded or rejuvenating old HVAC systems function at high-efficiency rates, and state-of-the-art, non-proprietary controls
  • Replacing boilers with high-efficiency units at Bullskin Elementary and Springfield Township Elementary schools, and Connellsville Area Middle School
  • Across the district's four elementary schools, installing 37 new rooftop air conditioning units, and new roofing overlays at Bullskin Elementary and West Crawford Elementary schools
  • Upgrading walk-in coolers and freezers, and kitchen hood controls in six of the district's kitchen areas
  • Districtwide, upgrading water conservation measures, and installing tankless hot water heaters at three schools

Connellsville Area School District covers 250 square miles of rural southwestern Pennsylvania and currently has about 4,300 students and 550 employees.

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