East / Regional Reports

Trane PACT Program Funds PA School Improvements

August 8, 2001
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The Shikellamy School District in Sunbury, PA, consists of nine buildings, with a student enrollment of more than 3,000.
In the state of Pennsylvania, competition for budget dollars is tough. Pennsylvania school boards must be sure each dollar spent contributes to the district’s ultimate mission: providing a comfortable environment that encourages children to learn.

Shikellamy Schools maximized the use of its operating budget using the Performance Agreement for Comfort from Trane (PACT™) program to provide needed building improvements that will deliver a comfortable learning environment. The $735,000 project is being funded using savings generated by building improvements.

“The team of personnel from Trane provided the best service available. I am confident the district will continue to do business with them for many years to come,” commented Dan Saxton, director of facilities for the school district.


Shikellamy Schools is located in central Pennsylvania and serves a community of over 24,000. Much of the equipment serving the district’s buildings was old, inefficient, and badly in need of updating. The state of disrepair even reached a point where comfort was a major distraction in the classrooms at C. W. Rice School and Sunbury Middle School. The district was looking for a way to address these infrastructure and comfort problems without tapping additional capital funding.

“All schools are faced with budget difficulties, especially in the area of facilities maintenance. Our middle school needed boilers replaced. They were nearly 50 years old and were leaking. Complete replacement was cut from the budget for several years in favor of making enough repairs to just get through another year,” noted Saxton.

The district decided to use a performance contracting approach to help them solve their infrastructure problems. The Trane Company, La Crosse, WI, was selected to develop a project based on its experience, building expertise, and excellent service history with the district.

A Performance Agreement for Comfort from Trane (PACT) program provided needed building improvements for the school district and director of facilities Dan Saxton.


Trane assembled a team of experts to determine what was needed to provide improved classroom comfort. After listening to the district's requirements, Trane developed a PACT solution that addressed the comfort complaints and generated enough savings to fund the cost of the building improvements.

The comprehensive plan included addressing the building’s heating systems and installing modular boilers to deliver more efficient and reliable heat to the facility. Repairs were made to the existing temperature control system as a cost-effective means to improve the environment.

A Trane Tracer Summit™ building automation system was installed to monitor and control the comfort systems in the schools. As a central point of information, the building automation system gives the buildings and grounds personnel a more efficient means with which to manage the district’s facilities. A lighting retrofit was also completed to improve classroom light levels and create additional energy savings.


A PACT guarantee is in place to ensure project performance for the district. Trane service specialists routinely inspect the installation to make sure equipment is working as anticipated. They provide support and consultation to Shikellamy Schools to make sure its staff is trained on the operation and maintenance of the installed systems. The PACT guarantee provides the assurance of long-term financial results and guarantees over $865,000 in savings throughout the 10-year term. The students and faculty at Shikellamy Schools are learning and teaching without the distraction of an uncomfortable environment. The district is pleased with Trane’s performance. The strong partnership between Shikellamy Schools and The Trane Company has created a better educational environment for students and staff. Using the PACT program, the school district is now in a better position to focus on providing high-quality education.

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