Brevard Schools Half-Cent Surtax Project Plan Update
By Susan Hann // April 1, 2015
New Plan to optimize efficiency, minimize cost
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee (ICOC) met for the first time on February 25.
This group is charged with providing oversight on the expenditure of funds generated by the half-cent sales tax.
At this meeting, District staff provided an overview of the financial projections as well as project prioritization in facilities renewal, educational technology and school security project groups.
The project management team prepared several items for School Board consideration that will begin to implement some of the projects on the capital project list.
Summer break is the optimum time to do major work to heating and air conditioning systems.
These projects were authorized so that long lead time items can be ordered. Projects slated for this coming summer include mechanical systems and HVAC renewal work at Ocean Breeze Elementary in Indian Harbour Beach, Audubon Elementary in Merritt Island and DeLaura Middle in Satellite Beach.
One of the major cost-saving strategies to be used for the capital plan projects is the Owner Direct Purchase (ODP) program.
ODP allows the District to directly purchase major components, such as chillers used in air conditioning systems, to avoid paying sales tax.
On a recent project close out, the District saved $27,146 by using this approach.
These funds are reprogrammed for other capital projects. Our energy conservation staff is also part of our capital project team and will be looking for ways to optimize design and construction to reduce initial and/or life-cycle costs.
Recently, we looked at incorporating a bi-polar ionization system into the air conditioning system at Ocean Breeze, which will improve indoor air quality and reduce the initial construction cost by reducing the cooling equipment size.
Operating costs are also expected to be lower by up to 30 percent.
Next, the project management team will strategically group the upcoming series of projects on the capital plan list to optimize efficiency and minimize cost.
Consideration will be given to the type of work, geographic proximity, and economies of scale.
We are also working with the departments of Education Technology and District Security to ensure that the capital plan projects funded by the sales tax are well coordinated in design and in the field.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan Hann is the Director of Planning and Project Management at Brevard Public Schools. Previously, she was the Palm Bay City Manager.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park as well as her Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.