$11M of Stimulus Used by District to Protect Student Health

April 19, 2022
  • The $11.1M project will be funded by the Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) program

  • 200 HVAC units throughout 17 campuses will be redesigned and replaced to improve air quality to help protect against disease transmission

  • This is the third phase of work with Schneider Electric to modernize the school district to improve health, safety and efficiency

Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and sustainability, has announced the continued partnership with DeKalb County Schools in Alabama to provide a full HVAC replacement and redesign. Following three successful project phases that focused on major security updates and efficient technologies, this current project will be made possible by $11.1 million in Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding to support COVID-19 mitigation across schools and improve indoor air quality.

In 2018, DeKalb County Schools and Schneider Electric began implementing major upgrades to the district’s facilities. Through an energy savings performance contract, the district tackled their most pressing challenges: a deferred maintenance backlog that had become prohibitive to advancing upgrades and a mission-critical need for new technologies and security measures. The first three phases implemented energy and operational saving technologies, such as a building automation system, that reduced costs by 29% and allowed the savings to be applied to new gate access, security fencing, entrance vestibules and updated badge system.

With the eliminated deferred maintenance backlog and groundwork for future modernization in place, this fourth phase in construction will replace and redesign 200 HVAC units throughout 17 facilities. The HVAC work will bring systems to the latest EPA Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) code and will be redesigned to maximize efficiency and optimize comfort.

“The safety and security of our students and staff remain a top priority at DeKalb County Schools,” said Wayne Lyles, Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools. “Schneider Electric has been an important partner in our modernization initiatives since our relationship first began over three years ago. Even with shifting district priorities, their team has brought more value to the table beyond finding us funding. Their strategic approach allows us to keep an eye on what may need to be addressed in future decades while focusing on what needs to be improved today.”

Schneider Electric has successfully implemented ESPC projects with over a third of K-12 school districts across the state of Alabama. Nationwide, the company has successfully implemented 850 ESPC projects, saving partners more than $3 billion. Schneider Electric has been named the #1 ESCO by Guidehouse Insights and was ranked the #1 Most Sustainable Company in 2021 by Corporate Knights.

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