2017-05-31 / Front Page

School board approves guaranteed energy savings project contract

by Kate Evans

The Morgan County School Board unanimously approved CMTA Energy Solutions guaranteed energy savings project contract at their May 23 meeting which took place at Berkeley Springs High School. CMTA mechanical engineer and project manager Casey Borst laid out the project’s scope of work and timeline during her presentation.

Project highlights

The project’s scope of work include LED lighting replacements and select plumbing upgrades throughout the entire school district, new direct digital heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) control systems countywide, new middle school rooftop HVAC units with additional supplemental cooling and a high velocity fan for its gymnasium, two new HVAC units for the intermediate school gym and Widmyer Elementary HVAC system renovations.

Other work includes a new Widmyer hot water heater, a new intermediate school direct digital control system, board office HVAC systems renovations, a new air handling unit for the high school media center, additional middle school fire alarm upgrades and other miscellaneous minor HVAC work at all district schools, Borst said.


The total cost for all of these energy savings upgrades is $3,525,756. The project will be paid for through a 15- year lease purchase agreement/nointerest qualified zone academy bond (QZAB) loan.

Of the total project cost, $3,310,162 is funded by utility and operational savings generated by the project. School Treasurer Ann Bell said that the $215,594 difference will be funded by money the school system will receive from their West Virginia BRIM insurance claim for last summer’s hail damage to the Warm Springs Middle School and Warm Springs Intermediate School rooftop HVAC units. The funds will go toward replacing those units.

Some $369,261 is projected as annual savings through utility bills, operational and maintenance expense savings and rebates. CMTA guarantees the utility savings over the 15-year term. If the project doesn’t meet the projected savings, CMTA will reimburse Morgan County Schools the shortfall on an annual basis, Borst said.

CMTA’s project role includes subcontractor management, scheduling, commissioning, owner training and measurement and verification of energy savings.


The tentative project work schedule is middle school, intermediate school and high school media center HVAC replacements this summer, the board office, lighting, controls and plumbing in the fall, lighting, controls and system commissioning next spring and the Widmyer Elementary HVAC next summer, Borst said. Besides reducing energy and operational costs, the work will greatly improve the indoor learning environments at all schools.

Board vice-president Aaron Close said he initially was hesitant about the project but felt now that it was a maintenance issue that must be addressed with discontinued equipment. Superintendent David Banks said many damaged HVAC units could all go out at once and need replaced. Spring student awards

Morgan County Schools honored numerous students for their academic and athletic achievements at the meeting with awards. Some students received multiple awards.

Academic awards included state WV Writers and poetry competitions winners, regional and state academic fairs and competitions winners, James Rumsey Technical Institute awards and AP Scholars. Warm Springs Middle School boys’ varsity basketball team champions and coaches and the State AA track champions were also honored. An ice cream social was held before the meeting.

Superintendent Banks said they’re always told everywhere they go that Morgan County has the nicest kids. Students represent the county with class, dignity and good sportsmanship and are always the first to shake hands after competitions. Banks appreciated parents instilling these values.

Palmer, Stotler honored

Paw Paw High School Athletic Director Jeff Palmer was honored for receiving the 2017 West Virginia Athletic Director of the Year award. Banks said that Palmer always found a way to make additional sports and opportunities happen at the school so kids could have a safe place to be afterschool with caring adults. He had to be at school every night when there were sports activities. Being an athletic director was a difficult job and Palmer did it with class and dignity.

Palmer told students that were present, “I do what I do for you.”

Glen Stotler was also honored for his fundraising efforts and contributions to the Berkeley Springs High School prom at Cacapon State Park. When many worried for kids’ safety driving out of town for the prom, Stotler arranged for the state park to host the prom at no charge in 2003. The County Commission funded the park’s carriage and carriage house so they could have horse and carriage rides. The prom is a community event and has been held at the park for 15 years.

“We’re fortunate to have a beautiful place to have it and to have our young folks here and keep them safe,” Stotler said of the prom.

Step 7 funds

The school board also approved the plan for the remainder of $507,005 in Step 7 monies for improvement of instructional programs for the 2017-2018 school year. Some $53,423 will go for technology remedial software, $46,000 for team leaders, $135,670 for James Rumsey Technical Institute, $60,000 for Morgan County Achieves, $52,041 for textbooks and $33,120 for school allocations. Morgan County Achieves funding supports academic competitions and field trips and staff development.

The school board previously approved $126,751 of the Step 7 monies-25% of the maximum possible-to be used for the employment of personnel at their April 25 meeting. Some $70,226 will fund the county technology systems specialist position and $56,525 will be spent on a fulltime nurse for Warm Springs Intermediate School.

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