The Shikellamy School District consists of nine buildings, with a student enrollment of over 3,000. The district is located in the heart of Pennsylvania.

In the state of Pennsylvania, competition for budget dollars is tough. School boards must be sure each dollar spent in this area contributes to the district's ultimate mission: providing an 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 the energy savings generated by the building improvements.

"I believe Trane products are the best in the industry," said Dan Saxton, Shikellamy director of facilities. "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."

Uncomfortable Classrooms

Shikellamy Schools 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 two schools, 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," said Saxton. "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."

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

More Reliable Heating

Trane assembled a team of experts to determine what was needed to provide improved classroom comfort. After listening carefully 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 Summitâ„¢ 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 also was completed to improve classroom light levels and create additional energy savings.

Guaranteed 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 consultations to Shikellamy Schools to ensure its staff is trained on the operation and maintenance of the installed systems. The PACT guarantee provides Shikellamy Schools with 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 uncomfortable surroundings.

The district is very pleased with Trane performance. The strong partnership between Shikellamy Schools and Trane has created a better educational environment for students and staff. Using the PACT program, Shikellamy Schools is now in a better position to focus on providing high-quality education.

Publication date: 10/04/2004