School Facility Improvements Make Headlines In Major U.S. City

MILWAUKEE – (June 22, 2007) – In a ceremony this evening, the Big Rapids (Mich.) Public Schools celebrated recent facilities improvements by hosting the first soccer game under new soccer field lights. The “Turn It On” ceremony was attended by community members, athletics boosters and local dignitaries.

The $1.8 million improvements are designed to make Big Rapids Public Schools more comfortable, to address deferred maintenance and to save the school district money on energy. Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee-based provider of building efficiency solutions, implemented:
· District-wide building automation.
· Water conservation measures.
· Interior lighting upgrades.
· HVAC mechanical upgrades.
· Improvements to the high school parking lot lights.
Johnson Controls also installed the electrical distribution system for, and repositioned, the new soccer field lights. In 1999, athletics boosters salvaged flood lights from a golf driving range that had recently gone out of business. However, the lights were never successfully put into operation. Today’s ceremony to illuminate the newly installed lights marked a culmination of their efforts.
To finance the improvements, Big Rapids Public Schools and Johnson Controls entered into a performance contract. The school district will realize $4.2 million in energy savings over the life of the contract. Performance contracting is a form of alternative financing pioneered in the 1970s. Performance contracts are self-funded, paying for improvements through guaranteed energy and sometimes operational savings.
“Our relationship with Johnson Controls allowed us to make important facilities improvements at no cost to Big Rapids taxpayers,” said Dr. Thomas Langdon, superintendent. “The new soccer field lights are a visible symbol of what we’ve accomplished for the whole community to enjoy.”

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