School Board selects company to replace HVAC system at RBMS
The Greene County Board of Education met in a special call meeting Monday, May 8, 2023, to consider and act on the superintendent’s proposal regarding selection of a company to replace the HVAC system at Robert Brown Middle School. All board members were present. Over the course of this school year, the board has heard various presentations from several companies regarding their plans, timelines and costs for removing the existing HVAC system and installing a new one. The most recent presentations were given at a work session held Friday, April 21, 2023.
The board approved the recommendation of Superintendent Dr. Corey Jones to engage Whorton Engineering, Inc. to design and manage the HVAC replacement project at RBMS. Total estimate for the HVAC replacement project is proposed at $2,544,301, which includes a 10% contingency. The gymnasium at RBMS is not included in this estimate, but the superintendent stated that he will bring that to the board as an added project.
Financial support for the HVAC Project at RBMS is secured through the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) – CARES ACT which is the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security Act, resources. As indicated in various financial reports at school local board meetings, there is approximately $2.6 million available from ESSER II and ESSER III funds which can support the HVAC Project. As per the American Rescue Plan requirements: “Permissible minor remodeling may include, but not limited to, the installation or renovation of an HBVAC system to help with air filtration to prevent the spread of COVID 19.”
The RBMS HVAC project, which satisfies the American Rescue Plan requirements, will include the following components: The old system, installed in the 1970’s, will be removed; the new HVAC system will greatly improve the indoor air quality and comfort within the building. Each classroom will be able to control its own indoor temperatures. The system will include an independent fresh air system that will properly heat and cool the outside air before it enters the space. There will be controls for dehumidification equipment to deter growth and introduction of mold and mildew. Fresh air will be filtered with MERV 13 filters; The system will include recirculation and filtration of the air already inside the facility. The new equipment will have the ability to hear and cool at any time.
At the board’s recent work session, it was indicated that an effect of this new system is a 40% utility bill savings for that plant. Most of the equipment can be purchased through Sourcewell, the State Department’s Cooperative Purchasing Program.
According to Dr. Jones, the project will begin immediately and progress as equipment arrives. He noted that the company has indicated that some equipment is already on hand.
Dr. Jones affirmed that the arrangement with Whorton Engineering was the best approach for replacing the HVAC system at RMBS. “Through Whorton Engineering, Inc. we get the best costs for the services needed and, thus, we can still allocate most of the system $1.4 million PSCA Funds (Public School & College Authority) for other needed facility improvements, including new roof and flooring at Eutaw Primary School and replacing the field house, concession stand and fencing at RBMS.