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Quakertown High School project to cost $8.9 million

By Emily Thiel, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 28 2012 07:28:39 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 28 2012 07:28:57 AM CDT
Quakertown School Board

Quakertown School Board

QUAKERTOWN, Pa. -

Quakertown High School will be seeing an energy efficient makeover and redesign by 2017 if all goes as plan.

The school board approved an $8,955,000 million bond sale with a 2.67% interest rate for the construction and renovations during Thursday night's meeting.

George Moore and Curtis Santte of The Architectural Studio and Scott White of Holstein White Inc. presented the information about the reconstruction.

The school will receive a synthetic turn playing field in the stadium, restore the synthetic running track surface, replace the roadway for the bus area, and add a visitor team changing facility in the stadium.

The front door entrance will provide security, as anyone entering the building must go straight to administration.

The general construction includes exterior rain screen, roofing, library furniture, auditorium seating, cyber commons movable partitioning, band and chorus casework, linoleum classroom flooring, interior door hardware, and abuse-resistant gypsum board in classrooms, to only name a few.

Plumbing, HVAC and electrical are all to be updated within the reconstruction.
The purpose of the project is to achieve better energy efficiency within the high school.

The teachers at the school wanted their departments to be organized by section, which is part of the overall plan. Classrooms with math subjects are in one location of the building, while English classrooms in another.

Some walls within the school will be portable to allow for easy access to make a room larger or smaller according to the usage.

Almost all the lighting will be LED, which brings a significant amount of savings to the school. The lighting adjusts to the conditions, including occupancy and sunlight. Manual dimming is also available with these features. Other plans including adding a media center, creating the auditorium to be ADA accessible, and adding a fitness center to the existing gym.

The entire project is to be completed in March 2017, with four phases of the construction. The gym, cafe, tech. ed. and site work are all sub projects within each of the phases.

In keeping the building energy efficient, the building will use geo-thermal heat pumps for both heating and cooling of the school. This type of system uses 25 - 50% less energy than traditional systems. It provides flexibility in distributing the heat or cool air and can be focused on individual zones.

The pumps use a refrigerator type style where they pump energy from the room to the earth to be either cooled or heated, then returned to the classroom. With the geo-thermal pump, one unit of energy is used to produce five units of energy.

The pumps use a series of 240 wells in the ground, where water extracts heat. Once covered with grass, the area can be used for recreational uses, as the wells are completely covered and under the ground.

Each piece of equipment has it's own intelligence, which sends a signal through a communication port to a web browser. CO2 levels are monitored within the classrooms, which gives an accurate reading of occupancy and activity levels. The air temperature is altered depending on the CO2, producing a better environment and reducing ventilation rates in the school.

In addition to the energy efficient technology, the building will have rain screen technology which provides insulation on the outboard side. By moving the insulation near the wall it creates a skin with open joints keeping vapor and moisture from coming through. The compartments that are created equalize pressure.

Representatives with The Architectural Studio ensured segregation from the construction for students and proper exits so students will be as separated from the construction as possible during this process.

The high school project is to provide great energy efficiency as well as a better flow to the school setting for staff, students and