The Itawamba County School Board (ICSB) is moving forward in their ongoing project with ABM to replace the current lighting in all Itawamba County Schools with energy efficient LED lighting.

“We are hopeful that this will be a wash with the savings that we will receive each month and the costs incurred. We are wasting a whole lot of money by not upgrading to LED lighting in every classroom and building,” said Itawamba County Superintendent Trae Wiygul.

Additionally, the board purchased five needed energy efficient HVAC units that were distributed among Mantachie, Itawamba Career and Technical Center and Tremont and will be replacing the HVAC systems at the Mantachie and IAHS gyms with new energy efficient HVAC systems.

Michele Floyd, attorney for the Itawamba County School Board, noted that the gym at Tremont school had received a new HVAC system recently and will not be included in this project.

“Currently, the IAHS gym has no working AC units. Mantachie’s gym AC units are also in need of replacement. We were able to upgrade Tremont’s this past year. We looked at the cost of upgrading our classrooms in each school, but that price would set us back a ton of money. We hope to gradually fix those areas of concern by using some of our three-mill money to fix these issues. Our building units are old and in need of repair. We are spending a lot of money each year to fix these problems. The units will not last forever and we have exceeded the life expectancy of most of them,” explained Wiygul.

The project began back in January when the ICSB struck a deal with energy saving company (ESCO) ABM.

“The original discussion was for energy efficient LED lighting and new HVAC systems at all locations. However, that project was too costly. We worked with ABM to narrow the scope of the work so that we could get the most for our money and to get something that would pay for itself,” explained Floyd.

United States based ABM is a facility management provider that focuses on janitorial, electrical & lighting, energy solutions, facilities engineering, HVAC & mechanical, landscape & turf, mission critical solutions and parking solutions.

According to their website, “ABM provides custom facility solutions in urban, suburban and rural areas to properties of all sizes – from schools and commercial buildings to hospitals, data centers, manufacturing plants and airports.”

While this 15 year lease purchase project carries a hefty price tag of just over $2.4 million, Floyd assures that the money saved by updating old equipment with energy saving equipment will ensure the project pays for itself, both principal and interest.

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