Building upgrade saves district money

NEGAUNEE – The Negaunee school board on Monday heard about cost savings a year after upgrading the heating system in one of its schools.

Negaunee Public Schools Superintendent Jim Derocher said Johnson Controls Inc. had guaranteed the district would save about $18,000 within the first year of completing the project.

However, Johnson Control, which installed the system, reported the district saved about $25,000, or 40 percent more than what was guaranteed, Derocher said.

“It was good news to hear and the board was happy with that,” Derocher said. “Not only did we do a project that changed the environment in the building but we saved money that can be put back into our general fund.”

According to Derocher, the most savings was in natural gas. Johnson Control guaranteed a savings of $10,000, and after a year the district saved about $15,000.

“We expected that most of the savings would be in natural gas because most of the work was done in that area,” Derocher said.

The project was completed in February 2012 and a similar project is being looked at for Negaunee High School.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.