Vassar School District
Vassar Public Schools are a pre-K though 12th grade school district, with four buildings in total.
This experience of having two bonds run simultaneously was a challenge, but well worth the savings to our community. It’s provided the best education facilities possible for our students.
A bond hadn’t been passed in 25 years and the Senior High that was built in the 1960s had a roof with holes that created waterfalls in their classrooms. They had two 30-year-old giant boilers, asbestos abatement issues, flooring issues, and old technology for lighting; which has been a monthly drain on district funds. For the last 44 years, they had outdated DTE lighting poles that they paid $550 a month for. Even after paying more than three times for the poles, DTE wouldn’t give Vassar access to them.
Vassar High School was on the brink of shutting down and shipping their kids to another district. We knew they didn’t have a lot of money to work with, so we brought Trane into the mix to write a note and work on an energy project the help lower the bond.
The objective was to update all the lighting so Vassar could start saving on utilities and pay the energy performance contract back. We also needed to update the HVAC, ceiling, electrical, and lighting in the auditorium. Electro-Matic was able to use the energy performance contract to fund work from the voted bond so we could utilize more funds towards other needed projects. The energy bond captured just under $500,000 worth of work from the voted bond of $12 million.
The energy bond was adopted by the Board of Education in June. The work on new lighting, new drop ceilings, new electrical in classrooms began in July after the bonds were sold. We were able to do voted bond work at the same time, new gym floor, gym painting, new gym bleachers, outside bleachers, security cabling and security camera updates, replacement of the water main, updated plumbing and asbestos abatement in some areas.
The list of Electro-Matic products used included boilers, toilets, 1,500 pieces of LED light both interior and exterior, a new drop ceiling, OC sensors, heating controls, and unit ventilators.
The biggest benefit was that on opening day they walked into brand new lighting and drop ceiling at the high school. Because the bond was lowered and passed, the community will benefit from the first payment towards the millage. The rate has dropped from 3.72 to 3.56 mills. By December, after the turbines are constructed, there will be another reduction of the millage rate. When the DTE situation is settled, they will see great savings to their utilities, as well as we received a refund from the City of Vassar for overcharging our water bills.