Union Star, MO
The Union Star R-II School District is composed of an original school building dating back to 1913, along with multiple adjoining additions from the 1960s and 1980s. Combined, the complex serves elementary, middle, and high school students; and houses the district office.
District administration found itself dealing with unplanned maintenance and repairs on their existing propane boiler, which had additional issues of not being able to maintain comfortable space temperatures and the variable fuel pricing of propane. The District also had limited air-conditioning, making the learning and working environments uncomfortable during warm weather.
The District selected Energy Solutions Professionals (ESP) as its partner in developing a solution, using a competitive RFP process. ESP evaluated multiple options for heating and cooling, then provided the District with firm costs and savings; as well as cost/benefit and life-cycle cost analysis for each option. To meet these needs, the District selected a highly-efficient variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heating and cooling system.
ESP solicited bids from multiple contractors and vendors in order to obtain the best overall price and value for the District for the various new air-conditioning systems. This gave the District options in selecting the brands and solutions they preferred.
The newly-installed VRF system meant that propane heating was no longer necessary except in the gym, kitchen, and commons area. ESP installed packaged roof top units on pads for cooling and propane heat in the gym due to its greater operational/cost efficiency. The existing electrical service was also upgraded from 400 amps to 800 amps to handle the increased demand.
The energy-savings project for Union Star R-II had multiple benefits. Primarily, a much more comfortable learning environment for students, faculty and staff was achieved. In addition, the Board and administration demonstrated stewardship of taxpayer funds and resources by selecting the best long-term value solution that will result in reduced maintenance and allow better control of utility costs.