Nicolet plans energy projects over two years

Energy efficiency projects tied to increase in tax levy

June 4, 2013

Glendale — Nicolet High School is contracting with Performance Services for a slew of energy efficiency projects over the next two summers, School Board officials decided in a special board meeting last week.

The two-phase project is not to exceed $4 million, Director of Facility Services Brian Reiels said.

The energy efficiency projects will come in two phases. This summer, the parking lot lighting and sidewalk lighting will be replaced with LED fixtures.

"It's much more efficient and better performing," Reiels said.

The new lights will give the school the ability to dim the lights after hours. For security reasons, they will have a motion sensor that will turn the lights back up should someone step on the property during that time.

This phase of the project will occur in conjunction with the stormwater project that includes ripping up the parking lot, "so this is a perfect time to do it," Reiels said.

The following summer 2014, the hallway lighting in the school will be replaced with energy efficient lights. New ceiling tiles will be put in at the same time.

The exterior windows will also be replaced. Reiels said the current windows are out of date, tend to have rain leakage and poor insulation, making window replacement an immediate need.

"Some of the hardware is so old we can't get parts for it anymore, there is just a bunch of operational problems that the original windows have," he said. "In some cases they are almost 60 years old."

Because the new windows will create better lighting, the school will be able to do "light harvesting," meaning fewer lights will need to be on because more natural lighting will come into the building.

Energy savings projects under state law allow the district to bypass the revenue limit freeze and raise taxes by an average of 1.5 percent during the next three years.

The energy savings projects, paid for by the increased levy, shift several big ticket items off the district capital improvement plan, freeing up about $200,000 for the budget gap the school district is anticipating for the 2013-14 school year. The School Board authorized approximately $4 million in new debt for the energy saving work, after which the public has a 30-day period to petition for a referendum on the projects.

— Danielle Switalski

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