Piqua Board of Education notes energy savings; Over $700,000 saved

PIQUA — The Piqua Board of Education met Thursday, June 23 for their regular monthly meeting.

The Treasurer’s Agenda began with year three of an audit by Honeywell, who was contracted in early 2018 to implement energy conservation measures for the district.

Since installation completed in February of 2019, the measures have saved the district over $700,000 in energy and operational costs. In 2022 alone, the district saved $211,305 through changes in lighting, HVAC system controls, and more.

Approximately 48.7% of the savings came through changes to lighting, predominantly by upgrading to LED bulbs.

This was the third and final year of the audit by Honeywell. Next steps in energy conservation were also discussed at the meeting.

“We are going to try and revisit the topic of solar with them… all of our roofs have been designed to be able to hold solar panels. So, we have already prepared for that to happen. We just haven’t been able to do it because we have to be able to sell the [excess] electric back to make the project fund itself,” said Treasurer Jeremie Hittle.

Also during the Treasurer’s Agenda were recommendations to approve the districts insurance for 2022-2023, approve a change to the mileage plan to reflect the increasing gas prices, and approve the May 2022 financial reports.

The Treasurer’s Agenda was approved unanimously.

Student Representative on the school board, Nolan Campbell, presented his recommendation to increase student involvement in the district.

“A Superintendent’s Advisory Panel,” said Campbell, “at determined intervals throughout the calendar year, the Board of Education will meet with a panel of students, staff, and administrators for a board work session.”

The idea of the panel is for the board to seek input from the students on matters directly concerning them. A suggestion thrown out in the meeting was to have representatives from the elementary schools give input on playground equipment.

“The main goal is to increase student voice and involvement in the district,” said Campbell.

The board will workshop the idea at their next work session to come up with topics for the panel and ways to generate student suggestions.

During new business, the board approved a contract with the Motz Group to replace the turf at Alexander Stadium. The value of the contract is $723,000, and the new field should last the district at least a decade. Construction will begin in January of 2023 and finish in March.

A three-year contract with M&M Automotive, a Piqua-based auto repair shop, was also approved. The contract represents a renewal of services. Other bids were solicited but were unable to offer on-call mechanics during bus hours and 24-hour availability. The contract will last until June 30, 2025.

The board adjourned to executive session, and no further action was taken.

The next Piqua Board of Education meeting will be July 21 at 6 p.m.