Voters in Pilot Rock can rest assured its school district has made the most of their tax dollars from a 2008 $2.8 million general obligation bond. The Pilot Rock School District has completed its bond projects, which included new heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems in all of its buildings. As a result of the new HVAC systems, the District has reduced its energy consumption by 60 percent, which qualified the District for a $125,000 tax credit through the Oregon Department of Energy and Columbia State Bank.
“We’re saving money well over our expectations,” said Pilot Rock School District Board Member Randy Schuening. “We received an exceptional value.”
The District has saved $60,000 in energy costs so far since the new HVAC system was installed.
Superintendent Gordon Munck said he’s pleased with how well the new HVAC system has paid off for the District already. “We’re very appreciative of Columbia Bank for their partnership with the Oregon Department of Energy to be able to provide our District with these tax credits and cash incentives.”
The new HVAC system not only has paid off financially for the District, but it has also made a big difference for staff and students in the classroom. David McKay, the school facilities specialist from Willamette Education Service District who the District hired as a consultant on the bond projects, said the indoor air quality in each of the school buildings has drastically changed as a result of the new system.
“Kids aren’t falling asleep after lunch anymore because they’re receiving fresher air,” he said.
Students agree. Senior Tess Hamby said in the past, it was difficult to get air circulating well in a classroom. “Now, we just let the teacher know if we’re hot or cold, and they can just adjust the temperature with the touch of a button.”
Superintendent Munck said the new system has made a big difference for staff and students, particularly in months that tend to be either very warm or very cold.
“The schools are air conditioned in hot weather when they were not with the old system, and reasonably warm but not overheated in the winter,” he said. Now have fresh air, maintaining a much lower carbon dioxide level, students are alert and able to learn.”
Senior Daniel Christensen said the air is no longer “stale,” a refreshing change while in class.
Board Member Scheuning said the District was a good steward of the community’s tax dollars throughout the bond projects, which also included grounds modifications to prevent water runoff from entering buildings, a new retaining wall, flooring in the junior high cafeteria and elementary gymnasium, and extensive electrical upgrades to enhance classroom technology and the HVAC system, and some roofing projects.
“We’re very fortunate to have had the community back us in this project,” Scheuning said.