Amagansett School Considers Energy Audit

A preliminary audit, should the district choose to hire the firm, would look at the school’s energy expenses and provide recommendations

   An energy performance audit, and implementation of recommended renewable and efficient energy systems, would greatly benefit the district, representatives of a Patchogue-based architectural firm told the Amagansett School Board at its meeting on Tuesday.
    Fred Seeba and Jim Weydig of Burton, Behrendt, and Smith delivered an early-morning presentation that stressed both the financial and educational advantages of such an audit and resulting action. A comprehensive energy system conversion would pay for itself within 18 years, they said.
    By implementing efficient energy strategies — which could involve lighting and lighting controls, oil burner replacement and burner control system upgrades, solar panels, wind generation, roof insulation or replacement, wireless clocks, and computer controllers — the district would be investing money normally paid to the Long Island Power Authority and National Grid into the school, Mr. Seeba said.
    A preliminary audit, should the district choose to hire the firm, would look at the school’s energy expenses and provide recommendations. It would then prepare a request for proposals tailored to the district’s needs.
    “It’s a nice vehicle to make buildings more efficient and not burden taxpayers,” Mr. Seeba said. The firm’s fees are typically 3 to 4 percent of a project’s cost, he added, and such a project could be completed in the summer of 2014.
    Another major benefit, Mr. Seeba said, would be as a teaching tool. “That’s the way a lot of schools look at it,” he said.
    Eleanor Tritt, the district superintendent, agreed that such an effort could be a kind of science project for students.
    John Hossenlopp, the board’s president, advised Mr. Seeba and Mr. Weydig that the board would consult with and possibly visit a district that has implemented the suggested actions.
    The board also considered the makeup of school days lost to Hurricane Sandy. The school was closed from Oct. 29, the day the storm struck the South Fork, through Nov. 2. In order to meet the 184-day schedule as stipulated in the Amagansett Teachers Association contract, the board approved a resolution stating that the school will be open Tuesday through Thursday during the previously scheduled spring recess. Should snow days occur, the Monday and Friday would also be school days, as necessary.