Board approves retrofit funding


With an eye set towards environmental stewardship and reducing energy costs, the Rainy River District School Board is heading into Phase II of its Energy and Facility Renewal Project with Honeywell Inc.
Approved by the board at last week’s monthly meeting, the project will see $2,557,822 in funding that has come down from the Ministry of Education go towards retrofit projects in schools across the district.
Some $1,686,866 is set to be invested for the 2009/10 budget year and $870,956 invested for 2010/11.
“It’s a continuation of Phase I,” explained Raymond Roy, the board’s manager of plant and operations, who noted an energy audit conducted over all the schools in the summer produced a list of energy conservation and facility renewal items the board will be proceeding with.
“There’s lots of lighting upgrades, there’s some electrical system upgrades, a lot of building automation stuff, control systems, mechanical measures like replacing some of the big building components such as the H-VAC systems, rooftop components,” Roy listed as just some of the things of what will be done with the funding.
“We’re going to be modifying some heating plant equipment, putting in some energy-efficient boilers at a couple of our schools.
“The spirit of the funding is so that we will create environmentally-friendly learning spaces,” he explained. “We’re going to be improving our learning spaces.
“Long-term, we’re going to be reducing our energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Roy stressed.
Since the board also will be using, in some cases, local contractors, the funding also will be providing stimulus to the local economy, he added.
These are all things the board has seen having completed Phase I of the Energy and Facility Renewal Project, which began three years ago.
“We completed that project and we’re now seeing the benefits of that project,” Roy remarked. “The benefit was, obviously, we created more environmentally-friendly learning spaces.
“[And] for the board, long-term, by implementing these measures, we are saving $162,000 a year in operating costs.”
Roy said there are also more measures they can do, referring to future possibilities once Phase II has been completed.
“There are measures that we have deferred but yes, as funding becomes available, there will be a Phase III,” he added.