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Published: Monday, 6/23/2014

Sylvania Schools approve issuance of nearly $5.5 million in bonds

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Sylvania Schools approved the issuance of nearly $5.5 million in bonds Monday night to finance the energy-reduction improvement project for school buildings.

The school board unanimously authorized the issuance and sale of the 15-year bonds that will finance the retooling of buildings‘‍ HVAC and plumbing systems. The bonds are for the amount of the project cost. In December the district took advantage of a payment plan, in which a portion of the work was prepaid in exchange for a 5 percent discount.

Trane, Inc., a heating and cooling company, began the building improvements in February, Treasurer Laura Sauber told the board Monday night. Facilities Director Alan Bacho is expected to update the board on the progress of the improvements in July. The project is expected to take nine months.

Mrs. Sauber told the board the long-term financing would be paid with the energy savings created by the new efficient system. The efficiencies are expected to save the district $515,000 annually, allowing the district to undertake the project without raising taxes. The promised cost savings was reviewed and approved by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, a state agency that reviews capital projects.

Improvements made to light and electricity usage, water, and control systems, are expected to result in the half-a-million savings annually decades beyond the 15-year payback period, officials said. Fourteen buildings -- 12 schools and two administrative offices -- are part of the energy-efficiency project.

The main cost-saver is reduced electric use from improved lighting, Mr. Bacho said.

Occupancy sensors will be installed, automatically turning off lights in empty rooms. The district also will use LED lights.

The second-largest cost savings, officials said, will be from a new central control system for heating and cooling.

The work includes plumbing upgrades to conserve water and energy, as well as new boilers and water pipes.

The newer elementary schools — Central Trail, Hill View, and Maplewood — already had lighting control, geothermal heating and cooling, and efficient plumbing, but they did not have LED lighting.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or ntrusso@theblade.com, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.



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