Leechburg Area School District’s energy-saving renovations near completion

Leechburg Area School District is set for huge savings as it nears completion of renovations to ensure greater energy efficiency on campus.

The district’s Energy Savings Project, implemented by Harrisburg-based McClure Co., began in June and is expected to wrap up in a few weeks.

Eric Petrazio, McClure senior account executive, said the district can expect to save more than $820,000 in energy operational savings over the next 20 years.

McClure is one of the largest integrated companies in Pennsylvania, helping schools to implement the Guaranteed Energy Savings Act agreements and K-12 renovation projects.

The school’s administrative central office and playground closed in July for several days to accommodate construction crews.

The project cost is about $1.8 million and has come in at budget.

“McClure is doing a great job,” board President Neill Brady said. “It’s a savings (for the district) and it was something that was never addressed, and we had to do this because of the age of the equipment and for the energy savings.”

No student instruction has been impacted during the renovations.

McClure has handled more than 200 projects for school districts in Pennsylvania, including Quaker Valley, Moon Area and Duquesne City.

“These projects typically focus on HVAC, electrical, roofing, windows and other K-12 critical infrastructure replacements. However, they can also address needs such as security, space reallocation and classroom modifications,” Petrazio said.

Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

Leechburg Area Superintendent Tiffany Nix said the project did not impact the district’s budget because the majority of the cost was covered by grants from the American Rescue Plan, a federal program rolled out during the pandemic.

The grant amount was a little over $1 million, and the remainder of the cost was covered by the district’s fund balance.

Project highlights include replacing all of the fluorescent lighting with LED lighting, replacing multiple sections of the roof under a 30-year warranty and updating the HVAC system, including all of its temperature controls.

“The building will run more efficiently with updated temperature control systems. Parts of the building were too hot in the winter,” Petrazio said.

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Joyce Hanz | Tribune-Review

This hot water heater boiler is one of two that will replace a boiler dating to 1965 in the Leechburg Area School District.

In addition, boilers were replaced in the Baker Building, which includes the administrative offices and classrooms.

The previous heating boiler in the junior-senior high school building was installed in 1965, Brady said.

Issues with the building envelope — everything that separates an internal building from the external environment, including doors, windows and walls — were addressed.

“All buildings have leaks. We sealed them all,” Petrazio said.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joyce by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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