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School board approves energy savings plan

School board approves energy savings plan


The Cherry Hill Sun

One step in the process by local schools to become more energy efficient in operations has been approved.

The Cherry Hill school board, at the Tuesday, April 9 meeting, agreed to a five-year energy savings plan by Concord Engineering.

The projects included in the plan were approved, but not the financing portion, District Spokeswoman Susan Bastnagel said.

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 14 for residents to comment on the lease purchase financing. The board would subsequently act on the finances after the bids are submitted.

Board members also approved the submission of the plan to the Department of Education and to amending the long-range facilities plan, she said.

“It’s a multi-step process,” Bastnagel said. “That was step one in terms of board approvals.”

Some of the energy savings projects are lighting controls, hot water pumps replacements, vending machine controls and power optimization controls for computers, she said.

The most substantial update in the plan would include the modernization of the boiler room plants in 16 of the district’s schools, which is “critical to maintaining the schools’ infrastructure.

“It’s very important to the day-to-day operations of the schools,” she said. “It’s a significant undertaking.”

The funds would come from the annual capital budget rather than a bond referendum.

Over the five years, the cost estimate is $8.9 million with an annual energy savings of $368,409. If the plan doesn’t come to fruition, the district would use the funding for other capital projects, she said.

The path toward the savings plan began with energy audits in all district schools over the past few years.

“That work yielded specific energy conservation measures,” she said. “It’s been a fairly long road over the last few years.”

Upcoming retirements

Two notable retirements are coming in the summer, Bastnagel said.

Cherry Hill High School East principal John O’Breza will be retiring Aug. 1.

O’Breza started in the district as an English teacher in 1968.

Ted Frynkewicz, the assistant principal at Rosa International Middle School, will also retire on Aug. 1 after 35 years of service.

Student accomplishments

Three high school students were recognized at the meeting for winning entries in the Prom and Alcohol Don’t Mix Contest.

The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control sponsors the contest each year.

The students were some of 49 participants in the contest to write the script for a public service announcement. From Cherry Hill High School West, Max Matez and Edward Dunn were named with second runner up honors, and from East, Damian Stuchko was given an honorable mention.

Also recognized was the math team from Rosa International Middle School for its participation in the South Jersey Math Counts Competition at Rowan University in February. The students were some of 118 from 15 schools in seven South Jersey counties.

Next meeting

The Cherry Hill Board of Education will hold its monthly action meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Malberg Administration Building.

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